A new study published in the journal Cancer Cell suggests that the body’s immune capacity against cancer — to recognise and destroy cancer cells — can be boosted by using oncolytic viruses.


About oncolytic viruses

  • Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are viruses that selectively target and kill cancer cells while sparing normal ones. The study notes that these viruses also enhance the immune system’s ability to recognise and terminate cancer cells.
  • Although long theorised, the research into oncolytic virotherapy picked up only in the 1960s. Of late, there have been several trials looking at different viruses for cancer treatment.
  • The latest study focused on the virus known as myxoma and it found that T-cells infected with myxoma virus can lead to a type of cancer cell death not previously observed.