Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Genetically Altering Cold Sore Virus May Attack Cancer Cells

An altered version of the virus that causes cold sores may be a real cancer fighter. And it makes sense.

The herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 cause cold sores by destroying nerve cells on the surface of your face. These two types of the herpes virus target nerve cells. In the process of replicating, the virus travels to the surface and enter a nerve cell. It then forces the cell to create clones of itself. Once the cell is at capacity, the original virus destroys the cell.

The new genetically altered virus is specifically designed to target cancer cells for its replication process - destroying the cells in the process. Scientists involved in this development state that the new virus is safe for healthy tissue.

These findings were announced at the annual meeting of European Society for Medical Oncology in Switzerland. Dr. Axel Mescheder of MediGene delivered a prepared statement to the attendees. It basically stated that since this new altered virus has not been shown to attack healthy cells, the hope is that it will target cancer cells without harming the rest of the body.

The results presented by Dr. Mescheder indicated, with animals in the lab, that the virus was effective colon and liver cancer cells. This may be a great breakthrough as colorectal is the 2nd or 3rd leading cancer killer.

Cold sores.

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