SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) — Chronic pain can feel like a lifetime of misery, but researchers believe they may have found a cure or at least a treatment for sufferers.
Researchers at the University of Utah say their discovery could mean relief for millions who suffer from chronic pain.
Robby Bowles, University of Utah Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, “we’ve developed a virus we can inject in your back to stop inflammation and treat back pain.”
It may sound a bit like science fiction, but for two years, Robby Bowles, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the U and doctoral student Niloofar Farhang and their team spent two years developing
Farhang, “we inject a virus that goes in the disc to gene regulations. It interacts with the cell to modify the gene with that regulation the inflammation is removed.”
When inflammation occurs the natural body’s response is to repair the tissue and tackle the infection. But with chronic inflammation it can lead to tissue degeneration and pain.
Researchers used new technology of modifying human genetics to stop cell death and keep the cells from damaging tissue thus stopping the pain. They’re doing it in a way that protects cells from breaking down tissue and becoming inflamed.
Bowles, “we are most excited about this platform tool so we have something here for back pain, but we can apply it to a lot of other disease states.”
The discovery could mean endless possibilities when it comes to curing pain. Researchers are using similar methods in cancer research.