Scientists have developed a new cowpox-style virus in a bid to cure cancer.
The treatment, called CF33, can kill every kind of cancer in the lab and has shrunk tumours in mice, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Australian biotech company Imugene is behind it’s development.
They are planning to test the treatment on breast cancer patients, among other cancer sufferers, next year.
Patients with triple negative breast cancer, melanoma, lung cancer, bladder, gastric and bowel cancer would be tested in the 'basket study'.
It has been successful on mice but success with mice does not ensure that the virus will be able to treat humans too, but scientists remain positive, as other specific viruses have been effective in fighting cancer in humans.
Example, the virus, which causes the common cold, was turned into a treatment for brain cancer by scientists in the US.
The cancer in some patients disappeared for years before it came back, while others saw tumours shrink considerably.
‘There was evidence that viruses could kill cancer from the early 1900s when people vaccinated against rabies had their cancer disappear, they went into remission,' Professor Fong who is leading the study said.
But there were concerns viruses could be too toxic for humans and can even fatal.
'The problem was if you made the virus toxic enough to kill cancer you were worried it would also kill man,' he said.
Professor Fong said cowpox - which proved to successfully protect people from smallpox 200 years ago - is known to be harmless in humans.
By mixing cowpox with other viruses, testing found it could kill cancer.
Cancer patients will have the virus injected directly into their tumours for the breakthrough treatment. The immune system is then expected to be alerted about other cancer cells in the body, prompting the diseased cells to be killed.
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