Human trials of experimental cancer killing virus to go ahead

Human trials of experimental cancer killing virus to go ahead

Human trials of experimental cancer killing virus to go ahead Image pexels-artem-podrez-4492065

Originally created in California, human trials using an experimental virus to kill cancer cells, are to go ahead.

City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer centre in Los Angeles, California, said in a press release dated May 18 that the virus was developed in combination with CD19-CAR T cell therapy.

That virus, CF33-hNIS or Vaxinia, is an oncolytic virus that is used in conjunction with other therapies to attack and infect tumours.

Oncolytic viruses infect and kill cancer cells, in the process releasing new infectious virus particles or virions to help destroy the remaining tumour. Oncolytic viruses are thought not only to cause direct destruction of the tumour cells, but also to stimulate the host’s immune system.

A genetically modified virus, it causes cancer cells to be more recognisable to the immune system, enabling the body to play a bigger role in defeating the cancer.

Early animal and laboratory trials show that the virus is effective in reducing the size of colon, lung, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer tumours.

Daneng Li, Assistant Professor in the Department of City of Hope School of Medical Oncology and Therapeutic Research said: “Now is the time to further enhance the power of immunotherapy, and we believe that CF33-hNIS has the potential to improve outcomes for our patients in their battle against cancer.”

100 patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumours and who have previously tried at least two other treatments will be treated with the virus, in a trial that researchers expect to be completed in 2025.

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Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at