Common Cold or Cure for Cancer?admin
A recent study out of the University of Surrey and Royal Surrey County Hospital has uncovered a previously unknown benefit of coxsackievirus (or CVA21), a virus known to cause mild flu-like symptoms. A small study has shown that this virus strain is capable of infecting and killing bladder cancer cells.
Fifteen patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer were given an infusion of a live strain of CVA21 through a catheter before undergoing surgery a week later to remove and examine their tumors. The investigators found that “there was evidence that the virus had targeted and killed cancer cells in the bladder while leaving all other cells intact,” IFLScience.com reports. One patient was even found to be cancer free.
“Coxsackievirus could help revolutionize treatment for this type of cancer,” principal investigator Hardev Pandha said in a statement. “Reduction of tumor burden and increased cancer cell death was observed in all patients and removed all traces of the disease in one patient following just one week of treatment, showing its potential effectiveness.”
“Traditionally viruses have been associated with illness however in the right situation they can improve our overall health and wellbeing by destroying cancerous cells,” University of Surrey research fellow Dr. Nicola Annels said. “Oncolytic viruses such as the coxsackievirus could transform the way we treat cancer and could signal a move away from more established treatments such as chemotherapy.”
When the CVA21 virus is injected, it infects the cancerous cells and replicates itself, causing the cells to burst and die while also alerting the body’s immune system that there is a tumor present in the bladder.
Read the full study in Clinical Cancer Research.