View Full Version : A Cure For Cancer?

11-18-2005, 01:32 PM
A Cure For Cancer?
A virus initially used to kill rabbits is found to eradicate human brain tumor cells in mice.



Scientists in London and Calgary have used a rabbit virus to eliminate human brain tumours in mice for the first time, raising the possibility a cure can be developed for the deadly disease.

"We're extremely encouraged by the results," said Dr. Grant McFadden, a scientist at the Robarts Research Institute in London.

If everything goes perfectly in subsequent tests, trials on people could start in three to four years, he said.

McFadden teamed with Dr. Peter Forsyth of the University of Calgary to inject myxoma, a virus used years ago to kill rabbits in Australia, into mice with human gliomas, a brain tumour that hits 2,500 Canadians a year.

"It is a living, growing virus that actually grows and kills the cancer cells," McFadden said of the myxoma virus.

The researchers found that 92 per cent of the mice treated were alive and apparently cured of the cancer when the experiment was completed after more than 130 days.

"I am really thrilled by it. At this point it has worked as well as we could have ever hoped," McFadden said.

"In most of the mice the cancer cells are gone by the time we look at them after several weeks," he said.

Testing also indicated the rabbit virus only attacked the cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone.

"We infected and killed the tumours and all the normal cells were perfectly fine, no problem at all," Forsyth said from Calgary.

Their findings are published in this month's edition of the journal Cancer Research.

Human gliomas is a particularly lethal type of cancer.

"People with the tumour live about 12 months with the best available treatment, which is surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Virtually none of them are cured," said Forsyth, who is a professor of oncology at the University of Calgary.

Forsyth said a remarkable discovery in their research was McFadden's key finding that cancer cells lost their ability to fight off viruses while normal cells kept their protection.

"When a cancer cell grows and proliferates like crazy it does so by sacrificing its ability to resist the virus infection," he said.

The researchers plan to test the virus as a treatment for melanoma, a skin cancer known to spread to the lungs.

Additional tests of myxoma virus are planned using other animals.

If everything works, the researchers will put together a package on the safety of the virus for an application to allow it to be tested on people in Canada and the United States, McFadden said.

McFadden's research is supported by the Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian Institutes of Health Research, while Forsyth's work is supported by the cancer society, Clark H. Smith Integrative Brain Tumour Research Centre, Kid's Cancer Care Foundation, Alberta Cancer Society and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

11-19-2005, 11:32 AM
Dennis Leary says there's no cure for cancer. What, don't trust Dennis Leary, Gold?

11-19-2005, 12:20 PM
Did Dennis go to medical school?

11-19-2005, 12:28 PM
He made a very funny comedy show on the subject. :D

11-19-2005, 12:32 PM
Well... if he didn't go to medical school, and doesn't know anything about Cancer, then I'm really not going to be prone to listen to what he has to say.

11-19-2005, 12:34 PM
I've got the cd of that show, it's awesome. Completelty funny enough to win ME over. :P

11-19-2005, 12:35 PM
'Course, I make all my decisions based on comedic value. The way Bush makes speeches? Hillarious!

11-20-2005, 06:01 AM
Leary is/was a substandard Bill Hicks.

NCFC is alright, but nothing compared to Hicks.

"Non smokers, I've got some bad news for you... wait for it... Non-smokers DIE EVERY DAY!"