Doctors have for years treated cancer with chemicals, radiation and surgery. New research found that another approach could hold promise, a cold virus.
Some Columbus oncologists are studying how common viruses can treat tumors and cancer cells.
Virus as a plausible treatment for cancer is not a new theory.
This idea has been around for a long time. In 1905, a physician in Cleveland began noting that people who had cancer who got natural infections sometimes saw regression in their cancer. Even back then researchers were curious whether it was possible to harness nature’s ability to infect tumors and treat them.
Researchers are finally discovering how to do it. Doctors in Columbus are working with common viruses such as the common cold and herpes viruses to infect and kill cancer cells.
The idea is to essential give cancer a cold sore, but the virus we're using won’t cause a normal cold sore.
Researchers have removed a gene, essentially crippling the viruses, so the virus only targets the cancer.
Effectively the cold sore virus causes an ulcer in the tumor which infects, kills and destroys the cell.
Although a cold sore is typically known as infecting the lip, it can infect tissues throughout the body, which makes it useful in attacking many cancer types.
Depending on the type of cancer, doctors may actually be able to inject a tumor or give an intravenous treatment.
A needle is placed directly inside the tumor and researchers are able to inject the virus in multiple places. There are some trials where the tumor is first taken out and the virus is injected into the walls of the tumor cavity where there are microscopic tumor cells.
Researchers around the world are testing different viruses – measles, polio, even some from animals like cows and rabbits.