Experimental Cancer Killing Virus

Experimental Cancer Killing Virus

 A human-engineered virus designed to fight cancer has been shown to be effective in animal and preclinical laboratory experiments. That success now makes the researchers ready to test it on humans. Quoted from Sputnik News, Friday (20/5/2022), City of Hope Hospital in Los Angeles, California, which is one of the largest cancer research centers in the United States (US), has given a dose to the first patient in a phased trial. 

I a new experimental cancer treatment CF33-hNIS named 'Vaxina'. The treatment has been shown to be effective in both animal and laboratory tests, but this will be the first time it has been tried in humans. Vaxina is an oncolytic virus, meaning a genetically modified version of a natural virus, made to infect, replicate and kill tumor cells. Although efforts to fight cancer with the use of viruses have been tried before, patients have frequent relapses, with cancers that return showing greater resistance to treatment in return. 

While Vaxina encourages the body's natural immune system to attack tumor cells, increasing its effectiveness in killing tumors and preventing tumor re-emergence. In preclinical trials and animal trials, it has been shown to reduce the malignancy of tumors of the colon, lung, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. In addition, Vaxina has been shown to increase the effectiveness of other forms of immunotherapy treatment, such as being a checkpoint inhibitor that prevents proteins from stopping a patient's immune system from fighting cancer. 

Scientists at The City of Hope discovered CF33-hNIS and licensed it to Imugene, a biotech company, who named it Vaxina. "Interestingly, the same characteristics that ultimately make cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy or radiation treatment actually increase the success of oncolytic viruses, such as CF33-hNIS. We hope to capitalize on the promise of viralology and immunotherapy for the treatment of a wide variety of deadly cancers," said Yuman Fong, M.D. , the developers of the genetically modified virus key in a statement posted on the Imugene website. 

The first study will focus on a small group of patients who have tried two traditional treatments. They will be given a very small dose of Vaxina to prove its safety. New patients will be given a dose of Vaxina along with an engineered antibody known as pembrolizumab. The virus will be injected directly into the tumor or given intravenously. In addition to The City of Hope, Imugene hopes to open 9 other sites to serve a total of 100 patients across the US and Australia by 2022. The study is planned to run for about 24 months.

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