There’s a silver lining in the medical world as one company thinks it’s found a way to stop cancer in its tracks. As medical advances move at lightning speed, there’s still a long way to go before we can completely eradicate cancer.
The Big C is something that has probably affected us all somehow during our lives — whether it be personally or through the loss of loved ones. However, one Australian company is making waves with claims it’s created a virus that can ‘destroy’ cancer.
While using viruses to tackle illness is nothing new, an Australian company has engineered one it thinks will target cancer. The treatment was created using cowpox and is called CF33. Ironically, cowpox was the basis of the world’s first smallpox vaccine in 1796.
According to Australia’s Daily Telegraph, scientists are hopeful this could be a massive leap in the fight against the disease and are turning their attention to patients diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, bladder, gastric, and bowel cancer. There’s been a number of successful trials reducing tumours in mice, with the next step moving onto humans.
Cancer expert Professor Yuman Fong told the news outlet: “There was evidence that viruses could kill cancer from the early 1900s when people vaccinated against rabies had their cancer disappear, they went into remission.
“The problem was if you made the virus toxic enough to kill cancer you were worried it would also kill man.”
It’s a controversial method, but Professor Fong remains confident the virus is the best way to attack cancerous cells while leaving the rest of the human body fighting fit.
Patients in the human trials will have the virus injected directly into their tumours, where it will multiply until all it burst out of the tumour, effectively killing it.
We’re still a long way off a supposed miracle cure though. As Cancer Council chief Professor Sanchia Aranda told the site: “When it is tested in a human we will see whether the immune system mounts a defence against the virus and knocks it off before it gets to the cancer or there could be nasty side effects.
“Cancer cells are very clever, they are true Darwinians that mutate to survive and there is a likelihood they will evolve to become resistant to the virus as they do now to become resistant to chemotherapy and immunotherapy.”
What the future holds remains to be seen, but it sounds like there are some exciting advances just over the horizon when it comes to ridding the world of cancer.