Scientists have injected the first ever patient with an experimental cancer-killing virus.
Called Vaxinia, the virus has been engineered to kill cancer cells whilst also increasing the body’s immune response to the disease. It is being hoped that the virus can help tackle advanced solid tumour cancers when combined with other drugs.
Vaxinia has proved successful in animals and the virus, known officially as CF33-hNIS, will have its true effectiveness revealed in this latest clinical trial.
In animal lab tests, the virus reduced the size of ovarian, pancreatic, lung, breast and colon cancer tumours. However, this does not mean that success in humans is guaranteed due to translation between species.
Still, lead study author Daneng Li expressed his optimism by saying that this is the time to further enhance the power of immunotherapy. The virus has the potential to improve outcomes for patients in their battle with cancer.
The trials are set to be completed by early 2025, and will test both the safety and optimal dose of Vaxinia. The virus will be test out in a Phase 1 trial of 100 cancer patients.