Researchers have created a genetically modified herpes virus that shows great promise in the treatment of melanoma cells. It works by infecting the cells, destroying them, and then producing an immune response that helps the body fight skin cancer more effectively. Herpes…to combat cancer? Sounds crazy, but it’s actually working.
This study involved 436 human patients with advanced, inoperable melanoma. These patients received an injection of this drug, called T-VEC, and results have been impressive. The number of patients that responded to treatments was eight times higher in the study group than in the control group, and some patients have now been in remission for over three years!
Animal studies precede any human trials, and this case is no exception. Mouse models for melanoma help researchers develop new treatments and understand the disease, and scientists have also worked with mice to develop other modified viruses that target cancers. Read about this research here, and read more about viruses used to combat triple-negative breast cancer here.