02 Sep '11, 9pm

Does a modified vaccine for smallpox hold the cure to #cancer?

SAN FRANCISCO - A genetically modified smallpox vaccine was able to target and shrink tumours in some cancer patients while leaving healthy cells unharmed, in the first study to show the potential of using a virus to fight human malignancies. Almost two dozen patients with advanced cancers were injected with varying amounts of the virus, called JX-594, and six participants in the highest dose group had their tumours stabilise or shrink, according to the report released on Thursday by the journal Nature. Seven patients in that group, or 87 per cent, had evidence of viral replication in their tumours, but not in normal tissues. Dr John Bell, one of the study's authors and a cancer research scientist at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, said the next step is a Phase 2b trial of the viral therapy in 120 patients with primary liver cancer, known as hepatocellular carcinoma. H...

Full article: http://www.todayonline.com/Science/EDC110903-0000278/Smal...

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