In the UK, a modified cold sore virus is used to treat cancer. As a result, one patient was cured, while in others the tumors shrunk.
The weakened, modified version of the cold sore virus infects and destroys harmful cancer cells. Longer studies are needed, but early results are promising for people with advanced cancer.
About forty patients were treated with injections of the virus that are placed directly into the tumor. On the one hand it activates the immune system and on the other hand it makes cancerous cells explode.
Lead researcher Professor Kevin Harrington described the findings in the BBC as “really impressive”. “It is rare to see good response rates in early-stage clinical trials, primarily aimed at testing the safety of treatment, and involving patients with very advanced cancers for whom current treatments are no longer available,” he said. .
According to Dr Marianne Baker from Cancer Research UK, the findings could completely change cancer treatment. “This new viral treatment shows promise in a first, small-scale trial. Now we need more studies to see how well it works.”
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