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Animal Cancer Breakthrough Leads to Human Clinical Trials

(University of Guelph) Cancer treatment in people could be transformed thanks to a study on treating cancer in animals led by researchers from the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) at the University of Guelph…
The researchers found that injecting oncolytic viruses (viruses that target cancer cells) intravenously into the spleen allows immune responses to be boosted much more rapidly and to much higher magnitudes than traditional vaccine methods. Typically, physicians need to wait weeks or months to administer a booster vaccine, with the down time potentially deadly.
"Normally, you have to wait until the immune response is down to administer the booster vaccine, but this means that, with severe and dangerous diseases, the response would wane," said pathobiology professor Byram Bridle, lead author of the paper.
"You don't want to give cancer any time to spread. What injecting the viruses into the spleen does is it allows us to bypass the regulatory mechanism that would limit its effectiveness. When we conducted these tests in animals, we saw high success rates in treatment of cancer."
He said the findings apply to many types of cancer, including breast cancer, leukemia, prostate cancer and osteosarcoma (bone cancer), and tumours in the brain, liver and skin.
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