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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Liver cancer: a modified virus extends patients' lives

the modified virus helped extend the life of sick patients. Pexa-Vec, a genetically engineered virus, was developed to target cancer cells and destroy them. A recent American study shows positive effects on thirty patients with liver cancer.
This is a new hope for all cancer patients: a virus developed by the American company Jennerex would extend the life of patients with liver cancer terminal. This is revealed by the study recently published in the British journal Nature Medicine, which describes the clinical trial for four weeks on thirty patients. The life of these has been extended by several months.
After handling the HIV virus, the virus Pexa-Vec (or JX-594) represents a breakthrough in the search for the fight against cancer. One of the study's authors, David Kirn, told AFP: "This is the first time in the history of medicine as we have shown that a genetically engineered virus could improve survival of cancer patients. "
Promising results Of the thirty patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC or primary liver cancer), sixteen were given high doses of the virus, while fourteen were administered lower doses of Pexa-Vec. The researchers then found that the former have survived to 14.1 months on average, while the latter survived 6.7 months.
These results demonstrate that "the treatment Pexa-Vec two doses resulted in a reduction of tumor size," said Jennerex in a statement. In addition to destroying tumors, manipulated virus would strengthen the patient's immune system, which would slow further progression of the disease.
The Pexa-Vec could cure other cancers However, some patients experienced side effects "of short duration, transient and manageable," similar to the symptoms of the flu, scientists said. One patient suffered from such severe nausea and vomiting. The Pexa-Vec was developed from vaccinia virus, initially used as a vaccine against smallpox. The virus is administered either intravenously or directly into the tumor.
Moreover, apart from liver cancer, the Pexa-Vec could be effective against other cancers, as shown by the initial results of tests on 200 people. But according Jennerex, a new study should be conducted on 120 people to confirm this new treatment.
The French company Transgene Mérieux Group, has signed a partnership agreement with Jennerex in 2013 on the development and commercialization, including the European territory of Pexa-Vec.

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