Cancer and viruses: Why don’t we pit our two greatest biological enemies against each other?

Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust have used a genetically modified herpes simplex – a cold virus – to attack tumors in the body of cancer patients, developing a new cancer treatment. in progress.

While experts warn that further monitoring is needed, the treatment appears to have saved at least one patient’s life. according to BBC news.

In the year After being diagnosed with salivary gland cancer in 2017, that patient, Krzysztof Wojkowski from West London, underwent the experimental treatment.

“I have been told there are no options left for me and I am receiving end-of-life care,” said B BBC. “It was terrible, so to be given the opportunity to join the trial was incredible.”

Many experimental treatments fail. But this seems unusual, at least for now – unusual news for Wojnowski, and it can only help pave the way for others to help.

“I got injections every two weeks for five weeks, and that completely killed my cancer,” Wojnowski said. BBC. “I’ve been cancer free for two years now.”

The virus known as RP2 is injected directly into the tumor. How it works, simply put, is by invading cancer cells and causing them to explode. BBC According to reports, the immune system also works to help get the job done.

Overall, of the 40 total patients in the trial, three of nine who received RP2 injections alone saw their tumors shrink, while seven of 30 who received RP2 in combination with another cancer drug, nivolumab, benefited similarly. The researchers concluded these findings by ESMO Congress Medical conference in Paris last week.

“It’s rare to see such good response rates in early-stage clinical trials, whose main purpose is to test the safety of a treatment, and which include patients with very advanced cancer for whom current treatment has stopped working,” said project leader Kevin Harrington. of BBC.

Using viruses to treat cancer It is not newBut such promising — and life-saving — results, even in trials of this small scale, are heartening.

More about cancer: A new treatment turns cancer genes into “eating” immune system signals

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