Ironically, rabies virus which kills thousands of people can be used to prevent death caused by cancerous cells in the brain. The ability of the virus to enter and infect nerve cells initiated the principle and mechanism of how it can cure brain cancer.

According to Science Mag, the treatment approach of rabies in treating cancer has been shown in mice. If the clinical trial will be successful in human, the said approach could be a great help in directly killing malignant cells without harming the healthy tissue.

The scientists are planning to mimic the rabies virus by creating tumor-killing nanoparticles. The advantage of the rabies virus is its ability to permeate the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) which is a selective membrane that screens out pathogens that travel in the blood circulation.

 Unlike the virus, anti-cancer drugs cannot permeate the Blood Brain Barrier thus, limiting the chemotherapy of the patients. Altogether compared to anti-cancer drugs, the virus is much on the higher level to the chemotherapeutic platform provided by its ability to permeate through the BBB. The idea is to use the virus as the nanoparticle's suit to enter the brain enabling the successful direct delivery of the drug to kill the malignant cells.

However, rabies virus is very toxic to the brain. As reported by Itech Post, researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in Suwon, South Korea were able to develop a safer way to use the virus. Nanoparticle particle expert Seok Youn together with his team developed gold particles that were based on the virus' size and shape.

The rod-like shape of the gold will increase its ability to bind to the receptors located in the nerves allowing now its entry to the central nervous system.  The gold particles do not contain any drugs but it has the ability to absorb laser light which will increase heat killing the surrounding tissue. The experimental test was conducted by injecting the particles in mouse's tail which resulted in a significant reduction in the size of the malignant tumor.