Jul 05, 2019

By Jane Brown

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It’s encouraging news in the fight against bladder cancer, and potentially all cancers.

A new study in the medical journal Clinical Cancer Research reports that a strain of the common cold virus has been found to potentially target, infect and destroy cancer cells in patients with bladder cancer.

Researchers from the University of Surrey in the UK say in fact, that no trace of the cancer was found in one patient following treatment with the virus.

During this pioneering study of fifteen patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, they received, via a catheter, a dose of a naturally occurring strain of the common cold (CVA21). Examination of tissue samples post-surgery discovered that the virus targeted only cancerous cells in the bladder and left all other cells in tact. The virus was found to have infected cancerous cells, replicating itself and causing the cancerous cells to rupture and die.

In response to this groundbreaking research, Dr. David Evans, trusted adviser to Bladder Cancer Canada, calls this “very encouraging news.” He says it provides further support for the growing optimism surround biological approaches for treating cancer.

Doctor Evans also points out that this good news will further help his lab’s own work, since Canada is a world leader when it comes to developing cancer killing virus as a way of treating the disease.

Here is Dr. Evans’ complete statement:

“The story regarding the CV21 trial offers positive news for people with bladder cancer. It provides further support for the growing optimism surrounding biological approaches for treating cancer. This includes the new immune-based treatments, and the present example of a virus-based method. It is difficult, time consuming (and very expensive) to take research conducted in the laboratory into the clinic so to prove that a new method is safe and effective. I congratulate my UK colleagues for accomplishing the first steps in this journey; a Phase 1 trial that shows that their approach is at least safe and exhibits some signs of working as expected. What many of Ms. Brown’s Zoomer Radio/Classical FM listeners may not know is that Canada is a world-leader when it comes to developing oncolytic (“cancer lysing”) viruses as a way of treating cancer. This kind of good news can only further help my laboratory’s own work, and all such efforts in Canada and around the world directed at ways of improving how we treat cancer.”

The most common symptom of bladder cancer is blood in the urine. The most common cause of bladder cancer is cigarette smoking.

ZoomerMedia’s Jane Brown is an advocate with Bladder Cancer Canada. Support Jane’s team in this year’s Bladder Cancer Awareness Walk by clicking here. Her campaign officially begins July 22, 2019 but donations are welcome before then!

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