A recent ScienceDaily.com article described an effective treatment for killing off cancerous brain tumors, called glioblastomas. Glioblastomas are tenacious, often recurring cancerous brain tumors. The newly developed way of killing them involves using something called a chimera virus.
A Deadly Combination
I apologize for the technical jargon, but a chimeric virus is one that’s been given nucleic acid components from other viruses. Chimeric viruses have been developed as bio-weapons (e.g. by the Soviet Union). They are made by combining nucleic acid elements from two or more deadly viruses.
But chimeric viruses have a use against cancer cells as well. For, unlike normal cells, most cancer cells lack any immune-response capability. In other words, they cannot fight off viruses. Scientists have successfully killed off cancerous brain tumors in mice using such chimeric viruses. They do this via surgery, injecting the chimeric virus directly into the tumor.
A Healing Combination
The obvious concern, of course, is ‘What keeps the deadly virus from spreading from the tumor to the rest of the brain?’ Ah, here’s where it gets interesting. To keep the deadly chimeric virus from spreading to normal cells, scientists have incorporated something else into the chimeric virus. They’ve added a component (called a glycoprotein) from another deadly virus – Ebola! And this component from the deadly Ebola virus inhibits replication of the chimeric virus – at least enough so that it poses little threat to normal cells.
The result is that while the ‘ebolized’ chimeric virus is deadly to cancer cells (which have no defense against it) it poses little threat to normal cells (which have a defense). It replicates too slowly to get a foothold among normal cells, but quickly enough among the cancer cells to destroy them.
It’s amazing that such diabolical research – once intended for the development of weapons of mass destruction – is now being reconfigured to save lives. Additionally, it’s more amazing that something as evil as the Ebola virus is making its contribution to this life-saving cause.
This is a recurring theme in scientific research. Organisms that were once viewed as unredeemable scourges to humanity, are now contributing to its healing and survival. It seems that God has built into every evil element of our existence is something that is good and beneficial. Or, perhaps, it’s simply a matter of God’s original good creation, though marred by humanity’s sin and God’s curse upon creation (Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 8:18-25), still retains elements of its original goodness.
Either way, my friend, God brings good from the pain in our lives. God redeems our own mistakes and incorporates them into His own magnificent plan (Romans 8:28). In other words, God takes the offenses which others intend for evil and causes them to work out for our good (Genesis 50:20; Deuteronomy 5:23). And God’s creation and His plan for us are so wisely well-built that, even when they suffer catastrophe, they still yield blessings to us. Thus, any way you look at it, we have reason to rejoice in God’s goodness, love, and sovereignty.
Dear Father in heaven, please open my blind eyes to see all the good that is resident in the painful and discouraging circumstances of my life. Just as you caused the evil circumstances of Jacob, Joseph, David, Job – and millions of others – to work out for the very best good, do Your wonderfully miraculous work in my life as well. Take every messy situation of my existence and bring about order, healing, and good. Through Jesus Christ the Redeemer, Amen.
(Information from: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200212150149.htm; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(virus))