A virus has been used to kill breast and cervical cancer cells, including aggressive triple-negative cells. The virus-adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2)-is believed to be perfectly safe in humans and doesn't cause any disease, but is lethal to tumours.
The virus killed all cancer cells within 21 days, a laboratory test has confirmed.
The therapy could represent a major breakthrough in the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer cells in particular. The cells don't have any protein receptors, and so don't respond to any conventional treatments, say researchers from Penn State College of Medicine.
In several experiments, the virus killed all breast cancer cell lines, including triple-negative ones, and was equally as successful when injected into laboratory mice that didn't have a functioning immune system. Tumour sizes decreased in all of the mice treated, and they all survived.
(Source: Cancer Biology & Therapy, 2014; doi: 10.4161/cbt.29172)