Scientists have reportedly administered the first human patient with a revolutionary cancer-killing virus, known as Vaxinia, which has delivered successful results during animal testing.
Now, the true test of the virus’ efficacy will begin with the new clinical trial.
It is hoped that the body’s immune response will be amplified against cancer with the virus, which has been specifically engineered to kill cancer cells.
In the last decade, such viruses had delivered very limited successes, however this time around, scientists developed this cancer-killing virus to harm cancer cells while also making them more recognizable to the patient’s immune system.
Researchers hope that it will make the body’s immune response stronger so it can fight back against cancer better.
While previous clinical trials of cancer drugs delivered promising results, Vaxinia can offer much more.
During the virus’ early lab experiments and testing on animals, huge success was seen in the size of tumor shrinking. The cancer-killing virus has showcased that it has the ability to reduce the size of breast, ovarian, lung, pancreatic, and colon cancer tumors.
As of now, Vaxinia will be tested on just 100 patients during the Phase 1 trials. The trial participants are patients suffering from either metastatic or advanced solid tumors, and have tried at least two other cancer treatments previously.
Researchers plan on administering the drug in two different groups, with the first receiving just Vaxinia and the other receiving an immunotherapy drug along with the cancer-killing virus.
The Phase 1 trials will be focused on safety and finding an optimal dose of the virus for injection. While it may not prove the efficacy of the virus entirely, it will be an important step in finding an alternative method for combating cancer.
The trial is expected to complete around early 2025, so it will be a while before any results are seen.
The virus was originally developed by researchers at the City of Hope National Medical Center in California, USA, while the drug candidate Vaxina is being developed by the Australian biotech firm Imugene Limited.