A Breakthrough Against Terminal Cancer?

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There is some amazing news in the continued fight against cancer that we had to share with you. This is especially important as we continue the fight against physician assisted suicide.

Glioblastoma is one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer.  Trying to fight it has largely been considered a lost cause.  However, researchers from the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University have re-engineered the polio virus to cure brain tumors by removing a key genetic sequence.

Reported on in a March episode of 60 Minutes, Dr. Matthias Gromeier, who has been working on the polio-virus project for 25 years, and his colleagues are currently injecting their genetically engineered polio virus, dubbed PVS-RIPO, into brain tumors of human patients. Through clinical trials on both primate and human subjects, the research team discovered that PVS-RIPO was not only effective in releasing toxins that poison cancer cells, but it is also incapable of reproducing in normal cells. Due to the success of clinical trials, they hope to further their research by examining the effect PVS-RIPO has on other potentially fatal types of cancer, including breast, prostate, lung, colon, and pancreatic cancers.

Why is this especially critical in the PAS debate? Because many high-profile proponents of PAS have argued that because cancers like glioblastoma are incurable, those patients should have the option to commit suicide on their own terms. We now know that new treatments can be found for even the toughest cancers. 

If new treatments may be available for even the toughest terminal illnesses, shouldn’t patients do everything they can to live long enough to get them?



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