Researchers at the Ottawa Cancer Centre (Canada) are hoping to launch clinical trials for a new cancer-killing virus. In a recent interview with 580 CFRA morning (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) show host, Steve Madely, Dr. John Bell (Senior Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics, Ottawa Health Research Institute) announced that the Ottawa Cancer Center is very close to launching new clinical trials for treatment that has been pioneered by the University of Ottawa. They have been given the approval of Health Canada to initiate clinical trials and hope to begin those trials by May 2009.
What Dr. Bell and his colleagues will be testing is a newly developed and tested form of "viral therapeutics." Viral therapeutics involves the development of a virus that attacks only cancer cells, leaving surrounding cells unharmed.
Researchers at the Ottawa Cancer Centre (Canada) have been working on a new virus that works by killing cancerous tumors in those patients who have not ever or have stopped responding to conventional chemotherapy and radiation. Preliminary studies of this particular virus in the US and Korea have reported progress in battling tumors. Progress in this case means that they saw tumor shrinkage or in some cases tumors collapsing in on themselves.
The hope is, obviously, to eradicate the tumor altogether, but there is also the hope that if this can't be achieved, then the tumor can be reduced to a size that can be surgically removed.
No information has been released on the types of cancerous tumors this new virus has worked or not worked on in laboratory tests. Dr. Bell says there are several goals for the clinical trials:
1) To find out what other cancers it works on
2) To find out if they are any other cancers it doesn't work on;
3) To find how they can adapt the virus to work on more cancers
4) To save patients' lives.
More about Dr. Bell and his research can be found here: http://www.ohri.ca/profiles/bell.asp