Scientists create designer virus to kill cancer cells

Swiss scientists have devised a new technique using a designer virus to fire up the immune system and clear out cancer cells.


Cancer cells are particularly good at avoiding the immune system, but this new therapy uses the body’s ability to quickly spot a virus to its advantage.

Scientists from the University of Basel inserted cancer proteins in an artificial virus so when the immune system hunts it down, it will also attack cancer in the body with the same proteins.

In theory, the technique could fight any kind of cancer. Proteins can easily be taken from the patient’s tumour, placed in the virus and then injected it into the patient to trigger a strong immune response.

According to The Telegraph, the treatment has shown remission in mice and the researchers are looking at testing this to humans.

“We hope that our new findings and technologies will soon be used in cancer treatments and so help to further increase their success rates,” said Professor Daniel Pinschewer, lead researcher from the University of Basel. The research was published in the journal Nature Communications.

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