Virus a new hero in the fight against cancer

A clinical trial has shown that researchers can efficiently deliver a cancer-targeting virus to tumour cells after a single injection, says a letter in the journal Nature.

Oncolytic viruses are of interest in cancer therapy as they can selectively infect tumours and deliver genes encoding anticancer proteins. Researchers showed that a poxvirus, JX-594, selectively infects, replicates and expresses transgene products within metastatic tumour cells.

This dose-related effect is observed after just one intravenous injection and there was no evidence that normal adjacent tissue was infected with the virus.

Although the trial was not designed to demonstrate clinical efficacy, the results suggest that JX-594 may elicit a clinical response in some patients.

Read more at Nature