The cancer-killing virus has been used in a human patient for the first time in a new clinical trial.
The experimental virus is called CF33-hNIS, otherwise known as Vaxinia, and was developed by Australian biotech-company Imugene and the City of Hope cancer care and research center in Los Angeles. The drug candidate is what's known as an oncolytic virus, meaning a virus that selectively infects and destroys only cancer cells.
Previous research conducted with animals has shown the potential for the drug also to spur the immune system to become more proficient in destroying cancer cells. If clinical trials go well and the drug is safe for use, more trials involving combinations with currently used cancer therapies such as pembrolizumab will be carried out.
"Our previous research demonstrated that oncolytic viruses can stimulate the immune system to respond to and kill cancer, as well as stimulate the immune system to be more responsive to other immunotherapies," said City of Hope oncologist and principal investigator Daneng Li.
"Interestingly, the same characteristics that eventually make cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy or radiation treatment actually enhance the success of oncolytic viruses, such as CF33-hNIS. We are hoping to harness the promise of viralogy and immunotherapy for the treatment of a wide variety of deadly cancers," said Yuman Fong, M.D., the Sangiacomo Family Chair in Surgical Oncology at City of Hope and the key developer of the genetically modified virus, in a recent press release.
Adam's Top 3 Recommended Articles:
- > NEXT STORY: Apex Legends has made over $2 billion in lifetime earnings
- < PREVIOUS STORY: Elon Musk reveals his wild Elden Ring character level and build