Scientists at the University of Oxford have developed a genetically modified virus that can destroy cancer cells and destroy the hiding place, announced Russia Today.
The virus attacks both tumors and healthy cells known as fibroblasts, which are "deceived" to protect cancer from the immune system.
The role of fibroids is to keep together different types of organs. It is known that these cells can be "detracted" from cancer cells, becoming cancer-related fibroblasts, thus helping tumors to escape treatment and growth.
Any existing treatment kills "misleading" fibroblasts that can also destroy those cells in the bone marrow and skin.
This is the first time cancer-associated fibroblasts were targeted in solid tumors in this way, the researchers said.
Even when most cancer cells are killed, fibroblasts can protect the remaining cancer cells and help them grow and spread, said Dr. Kerry Fisher of the Department of Oncology at Oxford University, who led the study .
So far, there has been no way to kill both cancer cells and fibroids that protect them at the same time without affecting the rest of the body, Fisher said.
"Our new approach to targeting fibroblasts at the same time as killing cancer cells can be an important step in reducing immune suppression in cancer cases and must begin the process of natural immunity," he said.
The virus, called enadenotucirev, is already used in clinical trials to treat cancers that start in the pancreas, colon, lungs, breasts, ovaries or prostate.
Scientists have attached the virus a protein called bi-specific T-cell, known as BiTE. One end of the protein targets fibroids, while the other end targets T cells, the immune cells responsible for killing faulty cells.
Immunotherapy appears to be a new and exciting way to treat cancer, "said Dr. Nathan Richardson, president of Molecular and Molecular Medicine at the Medical Research Council (MRC), which co-sponsored the study.
This innovative viral delivery system, which targets both cancer and surrounding tissues, can improve outcomes for patients whose cancers are resistant to current treatment.
The team, which published the results of its study in the journal Cancer Research, tested mice treatment and new human cancer samples collected from patients.
They also tested the virus on healthy human bone marrow samples and found that it did not cause toxicity.
If the additional tests demonstrate the success and safety of this treatment, it can be tested on cancer patients from next year.
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