New research, carried out in the UK, indicates that a cold virus can be altered to enable it to attack cancerous cells with no adverse effect on other healthy cells.
Cancer Researcher Dr Lesley Walker, explained that there has been many different methods of cancer treatment discovered in the last few decades, thanks to diligent scientific research.
Being able to approach cancer more directly and therefore more effectively has quite literally saved lives.
The team from Oxford University was lead by Professor Leonard Seymour and the funding came from Walkers charity organization. They worked on mice and the virus which was changed to work on the liver left it intact after killing the cancerous cells. Obviously the leap from the laboratory to testing it on humans is a big one but it is still a very significant discovery.
Seymour explains that it could be a further two years before this will happen but the technique used was very adaptable and straightforward. There will be particular sites of cancer where these curative viruses can be put to good use, that is the hope of scientists in this field.
This type of virus is called an adenovirus and research has previously been done with them in terms of treating cancer. Until now this has resulted in a much weaker virus in order to avoid damage being done to the various organs.
This time round the common flu virus was left with enough of its own genetic make up to stimulate a response from the immune system. The latter then destroyed said virus after it had successfully finished its objective.