Mar 27, 2015

'60 Minutes' examines Polio as cancer treatment

Scott Pelley and '60 Minutes' look at the polio virus as a treatment against brain cancer
CBS' "60 Minutes" looks at the polio virus as a treatment for brain cancer in a Scott Pelley report this weekend.
The news magazine followed patients in treatment for 10 months in the first clinical trial at Duke University. Pelley talked to molecular biologist Matthias Gromeier, who came up with the idea of using polio against tumors.
"I got a range of responses, from crazy to you're lying … most people just thought it was too dangerous," Gromeier tells Pelley.
Pelley talks to two patients in trial who have been declared cancer-free. CBS notes that 11 of the 22 participants in the trial to treat glioblastoma brain tumors have died.
NCAA basketball may push back the start of "60 Minutes" this weekend. It usually begins at 7 p.m. Sunday on WKMG-Channel 6.
Dr. Henry Friedman, a neuro-oncologist who is the deputy director of the Brain Tumor Center at Duke University, talks about how his views of the polio therapy have changed over time.
"I thought he [Gromeier] was nuts," Friedman says. "I really thought he was using a weapon that produced paralysis."
But that view 15 years ago has given way to optimism. "This, to me, is the most promising therapy I have seen in my career, period," Friedman tells Pelley.
Gromeier came up with a genetically modified polio virus that removes a protective shield from cancers, allowing the immune system to fight back.
Cancer can no longer be seen in two patients who received the polio treatment three years ago. One patient, retired cardiologist Dr. Fritz Andersen, says, "I feel it's a cure and I live my life that way."
Another "60 Minutes" segment this weekend is Charlie Rose's interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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