Stephanie Lipscomb was first diagnosed with brain cancer when she was 20 years old. She initially received rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, and had a craniotomy to remove the tumor however soon after the treatment did not prove fruitful and by April of 2012, the cancer had returned- Stage 4 Glioblastoma– the most aggressive brain cancer there is and one that doesn’t have a cure. With limited options, her doctors at Duke University suggested a clinical trial.

The process they suggested, that had never been tried on humans (but had done well on primates), would use a re-engineered poliovirus injected directly into her brain. The polio “attacked the tumor, first causing it to swell, then awakening the immune system to attack the tumor.” Her tumor disappeared within months. Stephanie has been cancer free for 5 years now.

But, while dozens of patients responded positively to the trial and though the FDA has lauded it as a medical breakthrough, many believe it’s still too early to judge just how the virus will perform in a larger patient population.

Stephanie wasn’t the only one in the trial; of the 21 patients treated in the Phase I trial, eight patients died, three are in “long-term remission”, and the others are still being monitored.

Again, this trial is good news BUT, Polio is not the only virus that’s been shown to work against cancer. Several companies and academic groups are testing a variety of engineered viruses to fight cancer, including herpes, vaccinia (cowpox), adenovirus, and the first virus-based drug approved by the FDA, Imlygic. Forbes reports, “It’s an engineered form of the herpes virus that’s injected straight into melanoma tumors, where it kills cancer cells directly and also recruits immune-boosting cells to the tumors to boost its potency. It’s far from a miracle—studies show that it works best in a small subset of patients who are in Stage III of the disease, but overall it improves survival by only a few months—which is likely why the FDA declined to fast-track the drug to market last year.”

Just remember, you don’t have to sit and wait to die, there are natural and homeopathic therapies you can employ to help your body detox and heal itself:

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