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The Very First Patient Has Received An Experimental Cancer-Killing Virus As Human Trials Commence

immune cell in action

In an attempt to unravel the mysteries of cancer treatments, scientists have found a new pathway for killing the cancer virus in the human body. They have finally achieved a milestone by injecting a patient with a novel cancer-killing virus, CF33-hNIS, VAXINIA during the phase 1 trial. It is inoculated in people having advanced solid tumor cells. This trial 1 process has been completed in the City of Hope National Medical Centre in California where this oncolytic virus has shown great results by shrinking the size of tumors found in lungs, breasts, ovaries, etc. to a considerable extent.

Scientists have been trying for decades to build such cancer-killing viruses that can easily attack tumors without causing harm to other healthy cells, but they have always been restricted due to the limited resources. However, this VAXINIA virus has the potential to not only destroy the cancer cells but also make them more detectable to the immune system. Moreover, the places that are difficult to target for tumors can also be easily accessible through this cancer-killing virus. A dose of CF33-hNIS would be given to the cancer patients during trial 1, who have metastatic or advanced solid tumors residing in their bodies, and this will then ultimately make their immune system efficacious against cancer.

Yuman Fong, Director of Surgical Oncology at City of Hope hospital, said, “Interestingly, the same characteristics that eventually make cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy or radiation treatment actually enhance the success of oncolytic viruses, such as CF33-hNIS.” We are hoping to harness the promise of virology and immunotherapy for the treatment of a wide variety of deadly cancers.” Around 100 patients would be injected with VAXINIA during the phase 1 trial and testing procedures provided that they have received at least two other treatments for this treatment so that their bodies may react in a normal way and any anomalies can then easily be detected at preliminary stages.

An assistant professor in the City of Hope’s department of medical oncology, Denang Li, said, “Our previous research demonstrated that oncolytic viruses can stimulate the immune system to respond to and kill cancer, as well as stimulate the immune system to be more responsive to other immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors. Now is the time to further enhance the power of immunotherapy, and we believe CF33-hNIS has the potential to improve outcomes for our patients in their battle with cancer.”

However, these trials are expected to be completed by 2025, which will leave the doors open for any further clinical research.