Genetically-engineered virus Pexa-Vec helps cancer-patients survive

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New hope comes  lately to cancer patients following the introduction of a genetically-engineered virus, which has been proven and tested in 30 patients suffering from terminal liver cancer.

Experts on Sunday said this virus helps sustain lives among cancer patients, as it kills tumors and suppress the growth of new cancer cells, thereby, improving the patient’s survival.

David Kim, co-author of the study said this is yet the first time in medical history that a genetically-engineered virus augments the possibility of cancer patients to survive.



As reported in the Journal Nature Medicine, experts had conducted a four-week trial with the vaccine called Pexa-Vec, also known as JX-594, in which they saw potentials to bring cure for advanced solid tumors in humans.

The authors wrote in the journal that while cancer treatments, as manifested by chemotherapy and biologics, has been accessible for more than 30 years already, many solid tumors remain incurable, especially when they reached the metastatic stage or they already have scattered to other body organs. Experts noted on this fact and suggested a need to develop a more potent active immuno-therapies to deal with such condition.

And the output is Pexa-Vec.

Kirn from California-based biotherapy company, Jennerex explicated that the Pexa-Vec works by multiplying in and later on destroy cancer cells. Simultaneously, the virus triggers the patient’s immune defense system to attack cancer cells. As a result, both doses of Pexa-Vec treatment generate a reduced tumour size as well as lowered blood flow to tumours. An immune response against tumors is also induced by such treatment.

Pexa-Vec treatment has been derived from a type of virus called vaccinia virus. This virus has been utilized as a vaccine for several decades now. Vaccinia virus is also known to eradicate smallpox.

Aside from liver cancer, Pexa-Vec treatment is also being tried in other forms of tumors to gauge further on its efficacy.

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