Viruses may be used for cancer treatment

Scientists are increasingly using viruses for the treatment of cancer, it has been claimed.

Dr Mark Matfield of the Association for International Cancer Research said that viruses are being utilised as a "basis" for new treatments.

He explained that over the last ten years there have been major advances in understanding the disease.

The comments come after the Institute of Cancer Research found benefits in combining a harmless human virus with radiotherapy in people with advanced cancer.

Laboratory tests of the new drug, Reolysin, were carried out on 23 people with cancer who were given between two and six injections of the substance.

Dr Matfield said: "Obviously, they have only tried it out on a handful of patients at this stage, so we will need to wait for larger trials before we know whether this has potential as a new treatment."

He added: "Over the last 20 years, all the effective new treatments have been very specific for one or two types of cancer. We expect this trend to continue as we are able to subdivide cancers into further different types and discover specific treatments for them."

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Viruses may be used for cancer treatment
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