Virotherapy involves the use of viruses to treat disease. In the case of cancers such as malignant melanoma, a breakthrough has been reported in todays press. A herpes virus has been genetically engineered to infect only melanoma cells and ignore healthy tissue. When the virus enters the cancer cells the effect is two-fold:
1) The rapid multiplication of the virus causes destruction of the cancer cells
2) The body’s immune system reacts to the cancer cells and causes destruction of
In a phase 3 clinical trial, 400 patients with advanced melanoma received the new treatment. 25% responded, with 16% remaining in remission at 6 months and 10% showing total remission i.e. disappearance of any detectable melanoma.
These findings are an exciting addition to the current (and rapidly expanding) treatment armamentarium for advanced malignant melanoma
Melanoma warning video raising awareness in young people
A video made by melanoma suffers extolling the importance of avoiding excess sun exposure and sunbeds is trending on YouTube. It is a hard hitting and emotive warning about the risk of melanoma and we would recommend young people watch this video.