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Experimental treatment with modified herpes virus cured terminal cancer

Updated Nov 29th, 2022 11:48AM EST
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Image: Alernon77/Adobe

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Scientists have managed to wipe out terminal cancer using a modified version of the herpes virus. A patient in a trial for the cancer-exterminating virus saw his cancer completely disappear after the treatment. Over 15 months later, he has remained cancer free, according to the Institute of Cancer Research in London.

The cancer-exterminating virus isn’t the first of its kind. We’ve seen similarly astonishing results from other cancer-killing viruses, too, and together they could open new doors for how we’re treating patients with these deadly diseases. One of the biggest things that scientists have had to look at is the overall safety of the dosage that they are dishing out to patients.

A team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London assessed the cancer-exterminating virus in nine patients. Scientists must inject the RP2 virus directly into the tumors. Then, it works by a dual action system – multiplying inside the tumors and then bursting them from within. Afterward, it helps increase the immune system’s ability to kill the cancer cells.

The patient who has remained cancer-free for 15 months was dealing with terrible salivary gland cancer. He and two other patients were treated with the cancer-exterminating virus. While the other two didn’t see complete extermination, they have seen great results, and their cancer hasn’t progressed at all within the last 15 months.

man being injected with cancer-exterminating virusImage source: Andrey Popov/Adobe

Scientists say that there is a lot of potential in utilizing these viruses to help exterminate cancer cells. That’s because these viruses allow scientists to target the cancer specifically. Because it introduces some viral properties, the immune system is also triggered, allowing the cancer-exterminating virus to work as a one-two punch against the cancer.

Viruses are one of the oldest enemies that humankind has struggled against and being able to harness those same enemies and then exploit some of their features is challenging, as Professor Krisian Helin, the CEO of the Institute of Cancer Researcher notes. But, if we can truly harness their features and use them to eradicate cancer, it could lead to a ton of new ways to treat these terrible diseases.

Other forms of cancer-killing treatments include a radioactive gel that kills skin cancer cells, promising great results with just one treatment.

More science coverage: Disturbing experiment successfully combined human brain cells with a living rat’s brain

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.