Researchers at University of Texas have tested a novel "viral smart bomb" therapy that can completely eradicate brain tumors in mice, while leaving normal brain tissue alone. The Delta-24-RGD therapy, becomes the first treatment for the deadliest brain cancer, the malignant glioma. It is a new-generation "replication-competent oncolytic" adenovirus therapy in which a therapeutic virus spreads throughout a tumor, infecting and killing cancer cells. Delta-24-RGD is designed in such a way that it can replicate only in cancer cells leaving behind healthy tissue. It kills the host cancer cells for reproducing itself. It moves on to contaminate other tumor cells, and when no more cancer cells are left to infect, the virus itself dies.
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Institute of Catalá d'Oncologia in Barcelona, Spain, found in repeated experiments that more than half of mice that had human glioblastoma tumors implanted in their brains and treated with Delta-24-RGD survived for more than four months, whereas untreated mice lived for less than three weeks. Many experiments have been conducted since this study and they all produced similar results.