Unlikely agent for fighting cancer found in herpes virus

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. 

Viruses are usually thought of as agents of disease. But for the first time, scientists are poised to bring to the US market a virus that can help thwart cancer, a development that could herald a new age of viral therapies.

Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating advanced-stage melanoma, the virus — called Imlygic, which was developed in part in a Massachusetts lab — is a modified version of the herpes virus that both attacks the cancer and sparks the immune system into action against tumors.

In clinical trials, it has helped some cancer patients achieve remission with few of the nasty side effects common to existing treatments. And as the first tumor-killing virus to receive the FDA’s blessing, Imlygic could accelerate the development of other viral therapies.

Imlygic is part of a new group of immune-stimulating viral therapies that could change how cancer is treated and managed. One involves a genetically tweaked poliovirus being tested in patients with brain tumors, while another, based on a version of the common cold virus, is now under evaluation in people with bladder cancer.

In 2011, the California biotech giant Amgen bought BioVex — and the rights to Imlygic, known generically as talimogene laherparepvec, or T-VEC — in a deal worth up to $1 billion. Amgen will charge patients $65,000 for a course of treatment, which analysts said is in line with expectations.

Read full, original post: FDA approves cancer treatment that uses virus to attack tumors

Outbreak Featured
Infographic: Autoimmune diseases — 76 identified so far — tend to target women over men. Here is a master list

Infographic: Autoimmune diseases — 76 identified so far — tend to target women over men. Here is a master list

There are many autoimmune diseases, and taken together they affect as much as 4.5 percent of the world’s population. This ...
Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

First introduced in 1995, neonicotinoids ...
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
glp menu logo outlined

Get news on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.