London: In a breakthrough has been hailed as “exciting”, prostate cancer patients have been given new hope after researchers eliminated the disease in mice.
Experts are stunned by the success of the “Trojan Horse” therapy, which involves hiding cancer-killing viruses inside the immune system to sneak them into a tumour.
Tens of thousands of the friendly viruses are inserted deep in tumours before being released all at once to kill cancerous cells.
Scientists at the University of Sheffield found that all the mice tested survived and showed no signs of the disease, while those on other treatments died after the cancer spread.
The first trials on patients could come as early as next year.
According to researchers, the key to success is getting the viruses far enough inside the tumour.
After chemo or radiotherapy, the tissue is damaged, causing a surge in white blood cells, which swamp the area to help repair the damage.
Under the pioneering treatment, it is these white cells that are used to carry the cancer-killing viruses.
“The problem is penetration,” the Mirror quoted Prof Claire Lewis from of the University of Sheffield as saying.
“We’re surfing that wave to get as many white blood cells to deliver tumour-busting viruses into the heart of a tumour,” Lewis added.