Virus Shown To Treat Prostate Cancer

A team of researchers in Alberta have successfully tested a new way to treat prostate cancer with a virus. Viruses, which target specific cells, are injected into the body and seek out the mutations in cancer cells. The virus then replicates and causes the cancer cell to burst, sending thousands of viral particles into the surrounding tumour.

The six men in the study had the virus injected directly into their tumours three weeks before they had surgery to remove the prostate gland as part of standard treatment. The tumour cells are targeted by viruses in the experimental treatment, says Dr. Don Morris of the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary.

Signs of cancer-cell death were found in the removed prostate tumour, while the normal parts of the prostate showed minimal toxicity and no viral replication, Morris said.

Although this doesn’t represent a cure for cancer (tumours were very rarely completely eliminated), it may lead to cancer becoming a much more treatable illness.


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