An experimental virus that kills cancer has been given to a patient for the first time in a new clinical trial, according to Science Alert. The clinical trial hopes to find a new way to fight cancers in the human body.
The drug candidate is called CF33-hNIS and is a genetically engineered virus designed to infect and kill cancer cells.
Eventually, the infected cell bursts, releasing thousands of new virus particles that act as antigens, prompting the immune system to attack the nearest cancer cells.
Previous animal research has shown that the drug can stimulate the immune system in this way to hunt down and destroy cancer cells, but so far no human trials have been done.
The first human trial was announced by the City of Hope, a research center in Los Angeles, and the company Imugune, which are jointly developing the drug.
“Our previous research has shown that oncolytic viruses can stimulate the immune system to respond and kill cancer, as well as stimulate the immune system to be more responsive to other immunotherapies,” said Daneng Li, lead researcher from City of Hope.
A total of 100 people are expected to participate in this clinical trial.