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July 11, 2007

Possible Cancer-Killer? Herpes

Set a life-thief to catch a life-thief. Sounds, actually, like perfect sense to me. Chemical treatments don't work, not fully, and not without massive damage to healthy cells and incredible pain -- we need a biological, let us even say nano, agent killing the plague of cancer. Chemicals aren't smart; biological agents are. Or at least they can be engineered to be smart enough.

A genetically engineered herpes virus, designed to kill cancer cells but leave normal tissue unharmed, has shown early promise in clinical tests, scientists said on Saturday.

...

NV1020 is a modified version of the herpes simplex virus, which causes cold sores. Its genetic make-up has been altered that so it only replicates in cancer cells, killing them in the process, and leaves ordinary cells alone.

...

Axel Mescheder, MediGene’s research head, described the case of one very late-stage patient whose cancer had spread to 10 different places around the liver and four in the lungs.

He was given four weekly infusions of the virus followed by two cycles of chemotherapy, and six months after treatment scans showed that his liver tumors had nearly disappeared. The patient survived for 12 months following the intervention.

“The reduction in the tumor masses was really impressive in this patient. The hepatic (liver) masses almost disappeared,” Mescheder said in a statement.

“The results are really quite encouraging at this early stage.”

Indeed. This is one fiscal conservative who wouldn't mind seeing a multibillion dollar Cancer Manhattan Project started to advance this technology, and fast.

Thanks to genghis.


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posted by Ace at 04:04 PM

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