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New Virus Kills Both Cancer Cells and Cells Adjacent to the Tumor

Developing Novel Vaccine Delivery Systems for Cancer Therapy (NIH)

While the immune system’s job is to protect the body from being attacked by cancer cells, nonetheless, healthy fibroblast cells surrounding the tumor actually get tricked into protecting the cancerous tumor from being destroyed by the immune system. Until now, no one has been able to find a way to destroy both the tumor and the neighboring fibroblast cells because a treatment to destroy adjacent fibroblast cells can also kill healthy cells elsewhere in the body. If the neighboring adjacent fibroblast cells remain they can encourage re-growth of the tumor.

Study Shows Virus has Dual Function

However, researchers at Oxford University in the UK published results of a study in Cancer Research, November 18, 2018, showing they have found a way for a virus to kill cancer cells with a protein that allows it to also kill these cells that surround the tumor that had been tricked into protecting the cancerous tumor from the immune system. The researchers used an adenovirus called the enadenotucirev virus, which is in use in clinical trials, as it had been bred to only infect cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. The researchers added genetic instructions into the enadenotucirev virus that caused cancer cells infected with this virus to produce a type of protein, which leads to T-cells destroying the fibroblasts.

More Research is Needed

This new modified virus has been tested on human cancer cells in the laboratory and on healthy human bone marrow and was not found to be toxic or harmful. However, further research is needed, as well as clinical trials to make certain that this modified virus is really safe to use with humans.

To learn more about new ways for treating cancer see our blog posts from May 18, 2018 and October 17, 2018 about a cancer vaccine.

Cancer is the Second Leading Cause of Death in the US after Heart Disease

Cancer is a disease whereby cells in a body begin to divide and grow at an accelerated speed until there are so many of them that they spread into neighboring parts of the body. Normally, cells only divide and grow when they have to replace some worn out cells that have died and then they stop dividing and growing. However, for some unknown reason, the cancer cells keep on dividing even though new cells are not needed. Cancer can start anywhere in the body. Eventually these cells that keep on dividing may form into a solid tumor and some may travel through the blood stream to other parts of the body, where they may also form new tumors. Genetics are believed to play a major role in cancer which often runs in families. However, not all people in the family may develop cancer even though they share the same genes, so environmental and lifestyle factors may be the main reason for a cancer to start or for a cancer never to appear.

According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2018 about 1,735,350 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and about 609,640 people will die from cancer.

At some point during their lifetimes, about 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer.

The most common cancers are:

  1. Breast Cancer
  2. Lung and Bronchus Cancer
  3. Prostate Cancer
  4. Colorectal Cancer
  5. Malignant Melanoma Skin Cancer
  6. Bladder Cancer
  7. Non Hodgkin Lymphoma
  8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer
  9. Endometrial Cancer
  10. Leukemia
  11. Pancreatic Cancer
  12. Thyroid Cancer
  13.  Liver Cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute the Following are Associated with Risk Factors for Cancer

  1. Genes
  2. Aging
  3. Alcohol is a known cause of cancer and the more one drinks, the greater is the risk.
  4. Cancer-Causing Substances in the Environment
  5. Chronic Inflammation
  6. Diet – Certain foods are believed to be able to prevent cancer, but the results from studies are not always conclusive. Eating charcoal broiled meat and foods that have been fried at high temperatures acrylamides have been shown to have an increased cancer risk.
  7. Hormones – Estrogens and synthetic estrogens like Diethylstilbestrol (DES) have been linked to higher risks for breast and other cancers.
  8. Immunosuppression drugs given to people who undergo organ transplants are associated with a higher risk for cancer.
  9. Infectious agents like certain viruses, bacteria and fungi are associated with a higher risk for cancer.
  10. Obesity has been linked with an increase in risk for certain kinds of cancers.
  11. Ionizing Radiation like radon gas, x-rays, gamma rays, CT and PET scans can cause cancer, especially if there is prolonged exposure.
  12. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight, tanning booths and sun lamps can cause skin cancers.
  13. Tobacco has been linked to 13 different kinds of cancers according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Rehabilitation after Surgery and Treatment for Cancer

If you or your loved one are in need of an excellent rehab and care center in the New York area following cancer surgery or treatment, check out the Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center in Brooklyn, New York. Ditmas Park has a 5-star rating and offers post surgical rehab as well as palliative therapy.

Brooklyn Hospitals near Ditmas Park Rehab and Care Center

New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital

NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn (formerly named NYU Lutheran Medical Center)

SUNY Downstate Medical Center – University Hospital of Brooklyn

NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County

Maimonides Medical Center


Amy treatment that can prevent or cure cancer should be welcomed so hopefully more research will give more conclusive answers about using viruses to kill cancer cells and destroy tumors.


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