May 27, 2015
By Michael Kramer
Some encouraging news in the fight against cancer.
New research shows a genetically modified strain of herpes – can kill cancer cells – and stop tumors from growing.
The T-VEC herpes strain was used to treat patients with melanoma – as part of a final phase of the testing of a new drug.
The research is published in The Journal of Oncology – and is the latest to show how viruses may be clinically used to kill cancer cells.
Scientists looked at more than 400 patients with agressive malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer.
More than 16 percent of patients given the T-VEC treatment showed a lasting response for six months – compared with 2 percent of the control group who were treated normally.
The drug is produced by Amgen – and is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.