Cancer, Melanoma, New Treatment Using a Common Virus

New research offers hope to Melanoma sufferers.

Cancer, Melanoma, New Research Shows Common Virus Shrinks Tumors

Cancer isn’t something you would wish on your worst enemy, my mother had lung cancer and didn’t survive to tell the story. Back then it was still in the throws of early research for treatments.

Today, thanks to many of the population donating, researchers have come up with what looks like could be a cure for melanoma or at the very least give the person more time with family.

I’m not going to go into the technical terms here, I’ll leave that for the links I add for you to further your interest. But for the sake of bringing this wonderful news to light, I’d like it available to as many people as possible.

It’s great to know that our donating is bearing fruit. So, here we go. Now, this caught my eye because I thought it a strange avenue to go down with cancer research, but apparently what the researchers have unearthed is that a modified version of the herpes simplex virus stage 1, which is the same virus that causes cold sores, shrank tumors of the deadly skin cancer melanoma in a clinical trial, according to Amgen, who is developing the experimental cancer treatment.

Patients who qualified for the trial were in the late stages of their cancer, and was either being treated with the new virus called GM-CSF, or receiving a placebo. Sixteen percent of the patients in the group who received the cancer treating virus, known as talimogene laherparepvec, saw their tumors shrink, either completely or partially and for at least six months. Compare that to two percent of patients who were in the control group. There was a significant trend toward the virus helping patients live longer, but the difference is not yet statistically significant. Amgen says that it may become so later this year, and those results are likely to be far more important in determining the future of the treatment.

I don’t know about you, but I find this incredibly interesting. When you think of Herpes Simplex, especially the cold sores variety, you think of people who are under a lot of stress or run down. Cancer patient’s bodies are already incredibly run down, and I find it interesting that a researcher would use a virus that attacks people when their most vulnerable to either cure or aid a longer existence.

Robert Coffin, a Biovex researcher developed this particular modified cold sore virus. It’s always nice for the researcher who develops these amazing cancer fighters to receive recognition for a change. It is usually just the company that gets hailed the hero.

Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of Research and Development at Amgen said “These are the first Phase 3 results of this novel approach to cancer therapy. A high unmet need exists in melanoma treatments and we believe the innovative action of this modified virus may offer a promising approach for these patients.”

via Amgen – Media – News Release.

Debra Wattes
Columnist

One Response to "Cancer, Melanoma, New Treatment Using a Common Virus"

  1. Bob Miller   March 23, 2013 at 1:41 am

    When I think about cancer, I think about the people in the world who have done the most innovative things to treat it and succeeded at it, then I look at what they’re up to nowadays. Follow the doctors who succeed. No need to play guessing games. My top following is the guy who built a cancer treatment and sold it for $6.5 BILLION (Erbitux, one of the top head and neck cancer treatments today). I think he’s one of the people everyone should be following when it comes to the ultimate cure for cancer. This article was very informative for me in terms of figuring out where real scientists with hundreds of millions in personal wealth are putting their time, even when they don’t need to work: http://www.trefis.com/stock/snti/articles/168060/could-dr-harlan-waksals-final-gift-to-the-world-be-the-cure-for-cancer/2013-02-11
    Follow the money, right? Why would someone with almost a billion dollars in personal wealth be working on this new cancer treatment? I bet this Erbitux guys believes he has found it…

    Reply

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