Can a cold virus target and kill cancer? Scientists have discovered that in the case of bladder cancer, it's possible.
July is Bladder Cancer Awareness Month, making now a great time to celebrate this exciting achievement. In a study
documented in the journal Clinical Cancer Research,
scientists at the University of Surrey
treated 15 bladder cancer patients with a strain of the common cold virus, CVA21, via catheter. The treatment was administered to the patients before they underwent surgery, and after the operation was complete, tissue analysis showed that the virus had destroyed bladder cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells intact.
For one patient, all signs of the cancer were gone by the time they underwent surgery, a single week after receiving the treatment. For all patients, side effects from the treatment were minimal.
The study, while encouraging, was small and more research is needed, but this seems to be a positive step in the advancement of bladder cancer treatment, which is currently quite invasive and can produce severe side effects.