New cancer treatments could be developed after scientists demonstrated that viruses could hide from the immune system.
Reoviruses have long been of interest in the fight against cancer as they only target tumour cells, however, it was thought that they would be killed before they could be effective.
But now, researchers at University of Leeds and The Institute of Cancer Research have found that the virus hides by hitchhiking on the back of blood cells - an ability which enables them to target cancers unhindered.
Dr Julie Sharp, senior science information manager at Cancer Research UK, which part-funded the research, said: "This promising study shows that reovirus can trick the body’s defences to reach and kill cancer cells and suggests that it could be given to patients using a simple injection.
She added that if this research is now developed then, viral treatment could become part of standard cancer treatment in the future.
According to the charity, around 850 people are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK.