UTMB researchers adapt Zika vaccine to fight brain cancer

Vaccine developed to fight glioblastoma, which John McCain suffered from

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have created a Zika virus vaccine to target and kill the form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma.

The late Sen. John McCain, who died earlier this month, had glioblastoma.

Currently incurable, glioblastoma is a cancer of the glia cells enmeshed throughout the brain that provide structure, nutrition, oxygen and immune protection for the nerve cells.

The Zika virus can cause microcephaly, a condition in which brain cells don’t fully develop. In contrast, glioblastoma dangerously multiplies brain cells into tumors. The Zika vaccine effectively targeted and destroyed the cancerous brain cells in mice but not healthy cells.

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