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Has anyone ever heard of Virotherapy?

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 626
Joined: Mar 2012

http://www.news-medical.net/health/Virotherapy-What-is-Virotherapy.aspx

http://www.news-medical.net/health/Virotherapy-What-is-Virotherapy.aspx

Texas_wedge's picture
Texas_wedge
Posts: 2807
Joined: Nov 2011

Yes, Ange. As the article says, the idea is almost as old as the hills. There's a lot of appeal in the idea of enlisting one nasty to kill off another, isn't there? Good catch, picking up that site.

A key sentence is this general observation:

"However, for several years research in this field was delayed due to the inadequate technology available. Research has now started to move forward more quickly in finding ways to use viruses therapeutically."

Future prospects are much brightened by the thrust for inter-disciplinary studies and the cross-fertilisation of discoveries in seemingly unrelated fields. Examples now abound, e.g. a Phase 1 study in the UK of a drug ETS2101 (dexanabinol) which seems to have potential for overcoming the ability of cancer cells to avoid apoptosis and become immortal. It's a synthetic cannabinoid that's demonstrated broad activity against cancer cell lines. It was previously studied in trauma patients and there has been a trial going on in San Diego re brain cancer.

It was identified via a platform called network pharmacology which is a new approach based on advances in network science and chemical biology. The latter, I think, is an important new field of enquiry, distinct in approach from biochemistry. The difference is described in a Wikipedia item in these terms:

"biochemists deal with the chemistry of biology, chemical biologists deal with chemistry applied to biology. This latter definition may make Chemical Biology a subsidiary discipline of pharmacology."

The current Phase 1 study is directed towards posology (meaning establishing the optimal dose levels) and the pharmacokinetics (i.e. the distribution of the drug within the body) and it's hoped that results will be available relatively soon to facilitate move into a Phase 11 investigation.

Who knows how soon the conjunction of technological advances in different fields may lead to a massive advance in the battle against cancers? For instance, at a fairly abstract level, the brilliant work by the schoolgirl namesake of yours (Angela Zhang) on the potential for extreme precision in the targeted delivery of some anti-cancer agents seems to hold great promise.

These are very exciting times when the symbiosis between discoveries and advances in totally disparate and orthogonal fields of enquiry may, at any time, open up whole new vistas of treatment and, with luck, cures.

angec's picture
angec
Posts: 626
Joined: Mar 2012

Thank you TW for that fine information. It is indeed very exciting and interesting! In this day and age to think they cannot cure cancer is unfathomable, when the aids crisis hit the fan they quickly came up with something that didn't cure people but has it so the virus does not show up in their blood. I know there is a cure out there, question is, do these big drug companies and the FDA want it?

Yes, Angela, was she 15 if I recall? Can come up with a brilliant idea but scientists can't? I am not buying it. Put ten teenagers in a room with some equipment and cancer cells and let's see what they can do. LOL

Waiting for the cure!

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