In a recent press release, scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine say they have discovered a virus that is capable of killing all types of breast cancer "within seven days." The virus, adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2), is carried by almost 80 percent of humans, but does not cause any disease.
Researchers learned of its cancer-killing properties in 2005, when Penn State scientists observed it killing cervical cancer cells. They also discovered that women who carried the AAV2 virus and human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, were less likely develop cervical cancer.
According to researchers, AAV2 not only eradicated all the breast cancer cells within seven days, but was able to wipe out cancer cells at multiple stages.
Penn State research associate Samina Alam said: "If we can determine which viral genes are being used, we may be able to introduce those genes into a (therapy). If we can determine which pathways the virus is triggering, we can then screen new drugs that target those pathways. Or we may simply be able to use the virus itself."
The Center for Disease Control says that breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in American women, causing more deaths than any other form of the disease. The American Cancer Society estimates that up to 39,520 women in the U.S. will die from cancer this year.