A particular strain of the common cold virus was given to 15 patients with Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC), getting an almost unexpected result.
The virus infected and killed only cancer cells and stimulated the reaction of the immune system. The safe and non-toxic treatment seems surprisingly effective, so much so that all patients have benefited greatly and one has even seen the tumor disappear completely.
Moreover, it is a type of cancer that oncologists call cold because it is not attacked by the cells of the immune system, and therefore is not restricted or stopped.
Today, however, a small pioneering study from the University of Surrey has raised the excitement of experts across the world. In the article published in the Clinical Cancer Research journal, British researchers explain that they directed the common cold coxsackievirus virus (CVA21) directly into the bladder of 15 patients through a catheter, a week before the planned surgery to remove the tumor masses.
After the operation, the researchers analyzed the removed tissue samples and verified that in all patients the mass had drastically reduced, and in one of the patients had even disappeared. The tests, in fact, found that the virus had been able to selectively infect the diseased cells leading them to destruction. Not only that, but the virus had also replicated by infecting the remaining diseased cells and elicited the response of the immune system, increasing the chances of eliminating the tumor.
"Coxsackievirus could help revolutionize medication for this type of cancer," said Hardev Pandha, head of the study.
The news has already spread among the scientific community and the major world experts say they are particularly interested in discovering research developments. If the results obtained from the new potential treatment are confirmed in larger studies, the virus could be an important ally for future immunotherapies.