Genetically Engineered Herpes Virus Used as Treatment to Fight Cancer Tumors–Trial
Posted Aug 02 2010 8:42am
This is the virus that nobody wants, that is unless you are looking at an experimental way to treat cancer tumors. The virus is created in a lab and clinical trials in the UK are showing success, although this is a small group of 17 patients.
The small trial group is addressing specific cancer types of the head and neck and is slated to also work with some types of skin cancer. Also the good news here too is that most patients do not end up getting herpes either as a result so interesting that a doomsday type of virus can open some doors with cancer research.
There’s much more research that needs to be performed and perhaps this could lead the way for additional studies to see if other viruses could have the same tumor fighting power. BD
Doctors say they have used a genetically engineered herpes virus to treat successfully patients with head and neck cancer.
A London hospital trial of 17 patients found that use of the virus alongside chemotherapy and radiotherapy helped kill the tumors in most patients.
It works by getting into cancer cells, killing them from the inside, and also boosting the patient's immune system.
Further trials are planned for later in the year.
The herpes virus, which is also being tested in patients with skin cancer, is genetically manipulated so that it grows inside tumor cells but cannot infect normal healthy cells.
In the 17 patients injected with the virus, in addition to their standard treatment, at the Royal Marsden Hospital, 93% showed no trace of cancer after their tumor had been surgically removed.