In a crucial analysis, scientists from The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have found that a cold virus apparently destroys tumors by ‘hitch-hiking.’ One important property possessed by reovirus is that it can withstand the neutralizing impact of antibodies present in the bloodstream.
The team is hopeful that vaccines containing the aforesaid virus may be injected into patients for cancer treatment, just like the standard chemotherapy doses. As observed in the research, the virus apparently gave a ‘double blow’ to cancer. Firstly, it destroyed the cancer cells, after which is also discarded the residual tumor cells. This made the virus capable of initiating an immune reaction against cancer.
Dr Kevin Harrington from The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, who jointly led the research, commented, “Viral treatments like reovirus are showing real promise in patient trials. This study gives us the very good news that it should be possible to deliver these treatments with a simple injection into the bloodstream.”
Moreover, there seemed to be no room for side-effects with this therapy, as the virus killed cancer cells and left the healthy cells untouched. It is also seemingly showing promise in treating a wide range of cancers, as the virus is capable of riding over blood cells. This opens up possibilities for alternative drug delivery mechanisms, which is a necessity for treating different kinds of cancer.
A few tests conducted after the injections were administered to some patients showed that reovirus was appropriately flushed down from the system, after treatment.