[MOL] Major Anti-Cancer Discovery [03021] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Major Anti-Cancer Discovery

Canada Researchers Make Major Anti-Cancer Discovery

    [06/28/2000; Reuters News Service]

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian researchers said on Wednesday
they had made a potentially significant breakthrough
in the fight against cancer by discovering that tumor cells could
be killed by injecting them with a rare virus. Dr John Bell of
the University of Ottawa said his team had found many common
cancers were destroyed by Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), which
is not infectious in humans. ``We're excited. We think this is
an important step forward,'' he told Reuters in an interview.
In laboratory tests the new treatment killed cells from melanomas
and leukemia as well as lung, breast and prostate cancers.

Bell said 15 years of research into tumors had shown that many
cancer cells suffered from a genetic flaw that made them vulnerable
to VSV, which has been under study for the last 50 years or so. ``Knowing
what this (genetic) defect was and knowing the properties of
the virus, we thought this would be a good fit. So we then tested
the virus and sure enough it was very effective,'' said Bell. More
tests will now be carried out on laboratory animals and if all
goes well the first clinical trials on human beings could start
in about 18 months. ``Dr Bell's findings are potentially very
important. We look forward to seeing the results of the preclinical
studies to evaluate the possible efficacy of this virus as a
cancer therapy,'' said Robert Phillips, head of Canada's National
Cancer Institute.

The full article can be found at:


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