NEW YORK (CBS NEWS) — Every once in a while, a story comes through 60 Minutes that has the potential to change lives. This week, Scott Pelley’s report on a new medical treatment using the polio virus to kill cancer is that kind of story.
Most people remember polio as the scourge that paralyzed millions of children until a vaccine was developed in the 1950s. Now, researchers at Duke University are injecting a modified polio virus directly into deadly brain tumors. The research is still in early stages and Duke doctors warn that it’s impossible to predict how effective the polio treatment will be in a wider population, but they’ve seen some stunning results in their Phase 1 trial.
“One of the scientists told me it takes a killer to kill a killer,” says Michael Radutzky, one of the 60 Minutes producers behind the story. “And that’s when I started to appreciate that if you’re going to kill something as formidable and hydra-headed as cancer, you needed an agent that could do major damage.”