Herpes virus can treat cancer
A genetically engineered virus can be used to treat patients suffering from head and neck cancer, as studied by the researchers. The herpes simplex virus is modified so that it multiplies and regenerates inside the tumor cells and not the healthy cells.
It later bursts and kills tumor cells and, it also helps in
stimulating patients' immune systems. This is a great achievement in the
field of medicine, as viruses can now be used to treat diseases like
The virus was tested in cancer-affected lymph node of17 patients in
up to four doses, along with the radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Head and
neck tumor and contraction was seen on scans for 14 patients with the
virus dosage, thus is a favorable treatment as compared to simple
radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.
The virus Side-effects were nominal and were generally, mild to
moderate, causing mild fever and fatigue. This trial treatment has
showed that the 'oncolytic' viruses can be safely used for treating and
curing the cancer patients.
Around 7 hundred thousand patients are diagnosed with head and neck cancer every year worldwide and of them around 3 hundred thousand patients die sue to the disease.