In a preliminary clinical trial involving 23 patients all suffering from advanced cancer, the researchers administered doses of the virus JX-594, both to determine the optimal dosage and to check whether the virotherapy can reach only solid tumors.
Researchers from Canada, the United States and South Korea have shown very encouraged by their findings, to be published this week in Nature magazine.
According to one of the authors of the study, Dr. John Bell, “a person previously had been able to show they could manage (the virus) intravenously and check specifically targeting tumors”.
Others are harnessed to the task later, but without success, said the doctor Research Institute Ottawa Hospital.
This time “is really a first,” says Dr. John Bell.
“This is the first time we can show that we can administer the virus intravenously and it actually goes to where the tumors. It spreads fairly satisfactory and destroys the tumor, “said he.
Five different concentrations of the virus have been administered to patients who underwent biopsy eight to ten days later. In seven of the eight patients who received the highest concentrations, the virus reproduces in tumors but not in healthy tissue.
“We are in the early stages of the study, with the administration of a single dose, but the results are promising, said Dr. Bell. We will conduct further tests to determine if the virus can actually improve the lives of patients. ”
JX-594 virus was developed by the company Jennerex, a company in the biotherapeutic co-founded by Dr. Bell and Dr. Kim of San Francisco, from a strain of live virus vaccine against smallpox.