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Clinical trials for cancer treatment with experimental virus have begun

The treatment, code-named CF33-hNIS (Vaxinia) , is an oncolytic virus, a genetically engineered virus that selectively infects cancer cells and kills them, ignoring healthy ones.


Function by entering the cancer cells where it reproduces. Eventually, the infected cells explode from within, releasing thousands of new virus particles that act as antigens, activating the immune system to attack nearby cancer cells.


Clinical trials began at the City of Hope Research Center in Los Angeles.


“Previous research has shown that oncolytic viruses can activate the immune system to respond and kill cancer, as well as respond more directly to other immunotherapies. We believe that CF33-hNIS has the potential to improve outcomes for our patients.”

The first phase of clinical trials focuses on the safety of treatment for humans. It involved 100 volunteers, all adults with metastatic or advanced tumors who had been treated with at least two conventional treatments without any results.


If the first results show that the treatment is safe, its effectiveness in combination with other antibody therapies will be investigated. The tests are expected to last two years, so it will be some time before we know the detailed results. If all goes well, we can talk about a powerful new tool in the treatment of cancer.


“Our oncolytic virus trains the immune system to target a specific cancer cell. This means that if a similar cancer cell tries to grow, the immune system will be ready to kill it.”

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