Herpes virus may kill cancer cells, UK researchers find

The herpes simplex virus has been used to shrink and kill cancer tumors in a trial in the United Kingdom, the BBC reported Sept. 23.

The drug is a weakened form of the cold sore virus and modified to kill tumors. The injections, given directly into tumors, invade cancerous cells causing them to burst. The injections also activate the immune system.

About 40 patients were part of the trial. Ten out of 30 patients saw some benefit from the treatment while experiencing mild side effects such as fatigue.

The virus injection, called RP2, is not the first cold-virus-based therapy. T-Vec was approved by the National Health Service several years ago for advanced skin cancer.

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