Anti-cancer virus developed in Canada, initial study advances in potential cancer treatment

By on Sep 1, 2011 in Health, North America, Science Comments

An anti-cancer virus named JX-594 has been developed by scientists in Canada and initial study reportedly showed advancement on potential cancer treatment.

According to Canadian news sites on Wednesday, August 31, 2011, the JX-594 anti-cancer virus was discovered by researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) and the University of Ottawa.

The study, which was published at journal Nature that day, featured 23 patients in the advance stages of cancer and failed to respond the usual end-stage treatments.

All of them agreed to be injected with the JX-594 virus, which was noted to be genetically engineered to develop its natural anti-cancer properties.

As noted in reports, doctors gave different dosages of JX-594 to each of them and seven out of the eight patients that received the highest dosehad the virus replicating in their tumours, but not in healthy tissue.

The so-called anti-cancer virus, which was said to also be almost equivalent to a live vaccine against smallpox, resulted to the prevention of further growth of tumour in six patients.

None of the 23 patients experienced significant side effects mild to moderate flu-like symptoms but those with lower dose notably saw only lesser effect on the stabilization of their tumour.

“We are very excited because this is the first time in medical history that a viral therapy has been shown to consistently and selectively replicate in cancer tissue after intravenous infusion in humans.” OHRI lead researcher Professor John Bell was quoted on reports.

“Intravenous delivery is crucial for cancer treatment because it allows us to target tumours throughout the body as opposed to just those that we can directly inject.” Professor Bell added, who is also from University of Ottawa.

Apparently, the study did not prove that the virus can cure cancer patients but researchers said they believe that it is safe to use in finding ways to fight cancer.

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