The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted "breakthrough status" to a treatment that uses the polio virus in an effort to target aggressive forms of brain cancer. According to CBS News, results in the earliest stage of testing have been so remarkable, "the FDA wants to fast track the treatment to speed it to market."
The therapy uses the polio virus to attack glioblastoma. It was developed by molecular biologist Matthias Gromeier at Duke University in the hopes to use the virus’ debilitating properties to help fight cancer instead of harming its host. The polio virus therapy process awakens the immune system to the cancer it never noticed before, Gromeier explains.
“All human cancers, they develop a shield of protective measures that make them invisible to this immune system,” he told CBS. “By infecting the tumor, we are actually removing this protective shield and enabling the immune system to attack."
"60 Minutes" has been following patients in the clinical trial for the last two years.