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Aussie Company Creates Virus That Reduces Cancer Cells In Mice, Wants Human Trials

Aussie Company Creates Virus That Reduces Cancer Cells In Mice, Wants Human Trials

Now they're getting ready for human trials.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

CORRECTION - This article was originally published containing false and misleading information. The headline suggested that the virus developed by Imugene was able to cure all cancers. It should have made clear that the treatment had only so far worked in trials using mice, with certain types of stomach cancer. The firm now wants human tests to be able to further endorse any future claims.

Cancer is an awful thing that no one should have to endure; but, sadly, millions do every year.

However, we could be a step closer to ensuring no one else has to die from the myriad of cancers that plague the human body.

An Australian company has developed a virus that has been found to kill every type of cancer.


Loads of people might raise an eyebrow about using a virus to fight a disease, but scientists have been doing it for years with good results.

For example, a modified form of the herpes virus is now being utilised as an effective treatment against some types of skin cancer. Cowpox was is a viral disease from cows' udders and formed the basis of the first smallpox vaccines for humans.

Scientific engineers are now using cowpox as a basis for their treatment, called CF33, to treat cancer.

Early trials in mice have been shown to reduce cancer cells and now Imugene is looking at doing human experiments.

The Australian based company will specifically be targeting patients with triple negative breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, bladder, gastric and bowel cancer, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Professor Fong.
City of Hope

US cancer expert Professor Yuman Fong has told the newspaper: "There was evidence that viruses could kill cancer from the early 1900s when people vaccinated against rabies had their cancer disappear, they went into remission.

"The problem was if you made the virus toxic enough to kill cancer you were worried it would also kill man."

But Professor Fong believes his concoction will be fine for human consumption and will be the best way to attack cancerous tumours.

Patients in the human trials will have the virus injected directly into their tumours, where it will multiply until all it burst out of the tumour, effectively killing it.


While the development is incredibly exciting, people have been warned that there is a long road ahead before this could be used in hospitals.

Cancer Council chief Professor Sanchia Aranda told the Daily Telegraph: "When it is tested in a human we will see whether the immune system mounts a defence against the virus and knocks it off before it gets to the cancer or there could be nasty side effects.

"Cancer cells are very clever, they are true Darwinians that mutate to survive and there is a likelihood they will evolve to become resistant to the virus as they do now to become resistant to chemotherapy and immunotherapy

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia, Health