The researchers announced that RP2, a new version of the Herpes simplex virus belonging to the Herpesviridae family, showed positive effects in cancer patients. Studies led by the Cancer Research Institute at the Royal Marsden Foundation of the National Health Service (NHS) show great promise in human trials.
Is a miracle coming?
This genetically modified virus shows strong results against advanced cancer patients, according to early clinical trial results. Kevin Harrington, Professor of Biological Cancer Therapies, stated that the injection destroys cancer cells from the inside while simultaneously gaining immunity against them.
He stressed that it is rare to see such good response rates in early-stage clinical trials. These data were shared at the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress (ESMO). Harrington, “Genetically modified herpes virus suggests it could potentially be a new treatment option for patients with advanced cancer” said.
One of the patients participating in the ongoing phase of the study is 39-year-old Krzysztof Wojkowski. Wojkowski, who was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer in 2017, has progressed despite treatment. When it became clear that no treatment options were left, the doctors decided to join the RP2 trial as a last resort.
Wojkowski, “This was my last lifeline. So being given the chance to participate in the trial was incredible. I’ve had injections every other week for five weeks that completely destroyed my cancer” said. As a result, it turned out that in a short step of the virus treatment, all cancerous cells in his body were cleared.
About 40 patients have tried this treatment
Doctors gave only RP2 to some of the patients who tried the treatment. He gave others both RP2 and another cancer drug called nivolumab. The resulting findings are as follows;
- Tumors appeared to shrink in three of the nine patients who were given RP2 alone.
- Of the thirty people who used the two drugs, seven benefited.
- Patients stated that side effects such as fatigue were mild.
Patients participating in the study also included very advanced cancer patients who did not respond to or were not suitable for standard treatment options. Despite this, Prof Kevin Harrington said the injection gave positive results.
Finally, the researchers state that they are only at the beginning of this path, but the results are positive.
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