Birmingham Hospitals Making Use of Herpes Virus for Treating Brain Cancer


Towards coming up with a breakthrough in the field of cancer treatment, two Birmingham hospitals are making use of the Herpes virus for treating brain cancer.

The herpes virus –the one which is responsible for causing cold sores, is currently under trial for treating brain tumors. The two leading Birmingham hospitals including the Children’s of Alabama and UAB are the only hospitals in the world that are trying out the herpes virus research for treating the patients with brain cancer.

Though it is quite an early stage in the given research, still it has been revealing major results. A patient named Nick Tasoglou claimed that in the beginning, this treatment approach sounded a bit weird to him. Dr. Gregory Friedman in the field of Pediatric Hematology & Oncology stated that they have learned a way of engineering the herpes virus such that they are quite safe. As such, these viruses can be directed and targeted for killing the cancer cells.

Dr. Friedman also claimed that this could be the future of cancer treatment.

Once the biopsy is done towards confirming the presence of a recurring tumor in the brain, the doctors go ahead with placing catheters directly to the cancer tumors. After this, the catheters are externalized through the scalp of the patient. The following day, the engineered herpes virus is infused for over 6 hours through the catheter. After this process has finished, the catheters are pulled out and the patient is given time to recover.

The main advantage of this type of treatment over the conventional radiation or chemotherapy methods is that it tends to be a one-time treatment instead of being a continuous treatment. The study finds that the herpes virus –G207 is safe for children having malignant brain tumors. As many as 7 children have been treated through this method.