Fifteen patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer were treated with CVA21, a naturally occurring virus which causes the common cold, with some impressive results.
The patients received CVA21, a strain of coxsackievirus, directly into their bladders via catheter one week prior to surgery. When the researchers examined tissue samples post-surgery, they found that the virus had only infected cancerous cells and left the healthy tissues alone. Furthermore, urine samples indicated that the virus continued to replicate and attack more cancerous cells.
One patient had no trace of cancer at all, just one week after receiving the therapy.
The investigators from the University of Surrey in England say that coxsackievirus could “help revolutionize treatment” for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, which affects approximately 40,000 Americans each year. Current treatment for the highly prevalent illness is not effective, highly invasive, and toxic for a number of patients.
None of the patients had any severe toxicity from the viral treatment, and reduction of tumor burden and increased cancer cell death was observed in all patients.
Long-term follow up of patients who were treated with the virus will be required, in addition to validating the results by means of a larger trial. The results from the current trial were recently published in Clinical Cancer Research.
Source: Forbes, July 4, 2019