May 27, 2015

By Michael Kramer

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Some encouraging news in the fight against cancer.

New research shows a genetically modified strain of herpes – can kill cancer cells – and stop tumors from growing.

The T-VEC  herpes strain was used to treat patients with melanoma – as part of a final phase of the testing of a new drug.

The research is published in The Journal of Oncology – and is the latest to show how viruses may be clinically used to kill cancer cells.

Scientists looked at more than 400 patients with agressive malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer.

More than 16 percent of patients given the T-VEC treatment showed a lasting response for six months – compared with 2 percent of the control group who were treated normally.

The drug is produced by Amgen – and is awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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