BY SUNDAY OMEIKE
Scientists in Australia have successfully created a virus particle that kills all types of cancer.
The breakthrough research, first reported by the Daily Telegraph, is led by Yuman Fong, a US cancer expert, with technical support from Imugene, an Australian biotechnology company.
The virus particle, which is not said to be harmful to body cells, has been successfully tested in mice.
The new cancer treatment technology which uses a cowpox virus-like particle is known as CF33. It successfully killed every type of cancer cell in laboratory petri dishes and shrunk tumour cells in mice.
Tests showed that the cowpox virus particle, when mixed with other viruses, killed both viruses and cancerous tumor.
This action is further expected to alert the body’s immune system of other cancerous cells for swift destruction.
Although successful mice treatment does not guarantee successful replication in humans, the team are hopeful because “specific viruses have been effective in fighting cancer in humans,” the report said.
To confirm this, clinical trials — a “basket study” — are being arranged both in Australia and overseas for patients with triple negative breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, bladder, gastric and bowel cancer.
Patients suffering from cancer would be injected directly into their tumours to confirm validity of the breakthrough treatment in humans.
“There was evidence that viruses could kill cancer from the early 1900s when people vaccinated against rabies had their cancer disappear, they went into remission,” Daily Mail quoted Fong, a professor, to have said.
There were, however, concerns that the viruses could be too toxic for humans and turn fatal.
‘The problem was if you made the virus toxic enough to kill cancer you were worried it would also kill man,’ he added.
Cancer, which accounts for 1 in every 6 deaths according to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization (WHO), is the second leading cause of death globally, and 70% occurs in low- and middle-income countries.
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