I deleted my previous post because the link I gave (which takes you to the on-line version of the UK Daily Express newspaper) brought lots of pop-ups. To by-pass the pop ups, I'm pasting the article below.
The article is about a trial for reolysin and it seemed interesting because included lung cancer patients.
"A "MAGIC bullet" cancer drug that blasts away tumours could bring hope to thousands of sufferers currently given no chance of survival.
Experts have hailed the new drug, made from a harmless bug that can cause stomach upsets, as a major new weapon in the battle to find a cure for cancer.
Early evidence from a trial carried out in patients with advanced, untreatable cancers who had stopped benefiting from radiotherapy has seen remarkable results.
The simple injection has stopped the spreading of the deadly disease in its tracks and has even successfully reversed its growth.
In one remarkable case, a man who had a large tumour mass saw it shrink enough to be surgically removed. Another patient with the most deadly form of skin cancer which had spread was still alive 17 months after treatment started.
Study leader Dr Kevin Harrington from the Institute of Cancer Research in London said: âA magic bullet depends on how you would define a magic bullet, but if you mean a treatment that can kill cancer cells and leave normal cells unscathed, then it has that property.â
The common virus is injected into patients and boosts their immune systems, blasting away tumours.
Used alongside radiotherapy, it creates a potent combination that makes the disease more treatable. The virus is commonly found in human respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, with no symptoms apart from mild stomach upsets.
A new drug, called Reolysin, contains the virus particles. It is hoped it will provide the longed-for âmagic bulletâ to kill off the disease. Early results have shown it can do so in some cases and can prolong the life of patients given just a short time to live.
The pilot clinical trial, conducted in the UK, shows that Reolysin has the power to combat advanced cancers. It has already been shown in laboratory tests to magnify the effects of radiotherapy. It appears to work by rupturing the walls of cancer cells, creating a chain reaction of small âexplosionsâ that rip the tumours apart. As they shrink, they become more susceptible to radiotherapy treatment.
It also seems to boost the immune system, recognising cancer cells as invaders and allowing the body to mount its own attack against them.
The Phase I trial, funded by Oncolytics Biotech Inc, Canadian manufacturers of Reolysin, involved 23 patients with a range of solid tumours including lung, bowel, ovarian and skin cancers. All had stopped responding to traditional therapies. They were given between two and six injections of Reolysin in escalating doses, combined with low or high-dose radiotherapy.
The main aim was to test whether the treatment was safe, but researchers also measured tumour responses for 14 patients. In every case, tumours either shrank or stopped growing, the scientists reported in the journal Clinical Cancer Research. Tumours shrank in two patients and stabilised in five who received low-dose radiotherapy.
Of seven patients on high-dose radiotherapy, tumours shrank in five cases and stabilised in two. One patient had a large tumour mass in a salivary gland which was reduced in size enough to be surgically removed. Another who was close to death with a serious form of spreading skin cancer was still alive 17 months later. Side effects were mild.
The next step will be to investigate effects in patients with newly-diagnosed cancers that would normally be treated with radiotherapy alone.
Dr Brad Thompson, president and chief executive of Oncolytics Biotech Inc, said: âWe believe this study demonstrates that the combination of low-dose radiation and Reolysin is well tolerated and that the very high response rate warrants further investigation.â
Dr Joanna Owens, science information manager at Cancer Research UK, said: âWhile these results are encouraging, itâs important to stress that this treatment has been tested in only a handful of patients so far.â "