London: Scientists have offered new hope to cancer sufferers currently given no chance of survival – a ‘magic bullet’ cancer drug that blasts away tumours.
The new drug, developed from a harmless bug that can cause stomach upsets, has been hailed as a major new weapon in the fight against cancer.
Early evidence from a trial, conducted in the UK on patients with advanced, untreatable cancers who had stopped benefiting from radiotherapy has seen remarkable results.
The simple injection has stopped the spreading of the deadly disease in its tracks and has even successfully reversed its growth.
“A magic bullet depends on how you would define a magic bullet, but if you mean a treatment that can kill cancer cells and leave normal cells unscathed, then it has that property,” the Daily Express quoted study leader Dr Kevin Harrington from the Institute of Cancer Research in London as saying.
A common virus is injected into patients and boosts their immune systems, blasting away tumours.
Used in combination with radiotherapy, it creates a potent combination that makes the disease more treatable. The virus is commonly found in human respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, with no symptoms apart from mild stomach upsets.
The new drug, called Reolysin, contains the virus particles. The pilot clinical trial, conducted in the UK, shows that Reolysin has the power to combat advanced cancers.