The research teams from Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa have released a new study stating that a virus can be injected into the bloodstream to safely attack cancer cells, according to the scientific journal "Nature."
Dr. John Bell, a co-author of the study and researcher at OHRI said the research shows a great deal of promise for the medical world. However, the doctor admitted that further studies need to be conducted.
"Of course, we will need to do more trials to know if this virus can truly make a difference for patients," he said in a statement, according to Winnipeg Free Press.
A trial test run of the JX-594 virus thought to kill cancer cells was conducted on 23 patients with advanced cancer. Each patient agreed to receive one dosage of an infusion containing the virus.
The virus was created by Jennerex in which Bell is a co-founder along with San Francisco Dr. David Kim. Bell said the virus is safe for use in treatment and has been in existence for years.
"This virus is not smallpox but it looks enough like it to the immune system that when you get treated with it you are prevented from getting a smallpox infection," Bell said. "So this virus has been used for 200 years to treat people, or vaccinate people against smallpox."
According to the Winnipeg Free Press, patients who received the treatments volunteered to do so after other treatments failed them. As the virus replicated within the tumors of patients, the cancer was shown shrinking and stabilizing.
Bell said this is the first time researchers were able to complete a task of this magnitude.
"No one's ever been able to show before that they could deliver (virus) intravenously and see tumor targeting, so other people have tried... and were unsuccessful," Bell said, according to Winnipeg Free Press. "This is the first time we've been able to show we can give the virus intravenously, it definitely gets to the tumor sites, it spreads throughout them quite nicely and begins to destroy the tumor. That really is the first."