Try not to get too nutso, but using GMO Viruses against different types of cancer seems to be a pretty amazing thing.
The researchers at the Mayo Clinic in the US, led by Dr Stephen Russell, are using an approach called ‘oncolytic virus therapy’, which is generating a lot of excitement in the cancer research community around the world. In fact, we’ve written about some of our work in this area a couple of times already.
Briefly, it involves treating patients with viruses that have been genetically engineered to specifically infect cancer cells, rather than causing the particular illness that they usually bring. When injected into the body, the viruses seek out and destroy the tumour cells, multiplying inside them to create even more cancer-killing viruses. At least, that’s the theory.
To date, researchers have created oncolytic viruses from a number of different types of modified virus, including the herpes virus (which causes cold sores), pox viruses and adenovirus (common cold). But while tests in cancer cells grown in the lab and animals have been remarkably successful, this promise unfortunately hasn’t yet translated into success in clinical trials with actual cancer patients.Now if we could just get a certain bunch of politicians to turn loose on the purse strings and get some of these docs the bucks they need to finish the thing, we might just have a chance. (translated: Stop voting for assholes who stand in the way of research and development.)