The new cancer killer
A genetically engineered virus can kill cancer effected cell without any effect on other healthy cells.
Saint Louis University School of Medicine researchers have found an alternative treatment for cancer.
A study undertaken by William Wold and his colleagues shows that a genetically engineered virus can successfully kill the cancer effected cell without any effect on the other healthy cells.
"These engineered viruses kill cancer cells through a mechanism that is completely different from chemotherapy or radiation. These viruses have the potential to treat many cancers that are resistant to currently available therapeutics.
It also may be possible to use these viruses in combination with other therapies to create novel treatment regimens," Dr. William Wold, chair of the department of molecular microbiology and immunology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, said.
Wold's group made some changes in the genes to develop the virus that attacks cancer cells. "Some of our vectors are designed to destroy many different types of cancers, others are designed to be specific to colon or lung cancer. In pre-clinical testing these vectors were highly effective against cancerous tumors and did not harm normal tissues," Wold added.
The research INGN 007 (VRX-007) and INGN 009 (VRX-009), two novel "oncolytic adenoviruses" that have been engineered to kill cancer cells via viral replication. These viruses can be engineered so that they are active on specific types of cancer cells INGN 009 has been designed to kill cells that carry a mutation common in many colon cancers.
It efficiently kills cultured colon cancer cells, does not affect lung cancer cells. Whereas INGN 007 effectively kills both types of cancer cells.