Anti-cancer virus kills brain cancer cells

November 1, 2006

Canadian researchers have found a cancer-fighting virus called VSV kills the most malignant form of brain cancer in mice.

The University of Calgary researchers, led by medical oncologist Dr. Peter Forsyth, also discovered the virus can be given intravenously to target invasive tumor cells.

The research team first modified the virus by altering one of the genes to make it safer in normal cells, but still able to kill cancer cells. Using the intravenous method of delivery, they were able to target the main tumor, as well as the tumor cells that had spread from the main mass.

The researchers tested VSV on 14 cell lines of malignant glioma and found the virus infected and killed all cell lines. The normal cell lines -- those not containing malignant glioma cells -- were not affected.

The study is published in the November issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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