Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Is Common Cold the Cure to Cancer?

news you may not know

Step Away

From The Phil...

Dang that vitamin C! You've been hanging around the water cooler all day long, shaking hands like a politician on auto-pilot and, yet - nothing. Not so much as a sniffle. Oh, sure - last fall everybody and their brother had a cold. You couldn't turn around without being exposed to multiple variants of wheezes and sneezes and snot. But, now when you really need it...

OK - you had hoped it wouldn't come to this, but you're getting desperate. You head to accounting. Rumor has it Phil has a nasty cold and has closeted himself away in his cubicle. As you wait for the elevator door to open you ponder your predicament. Have you lost your mind? Or, is it the breast cancer that's pushed you over the edge? Have you... Ding-Ding!

The elevator doors open and you sprint down the hallway, round the corner to Phil's cubicle and drag him to his feet. As he shrieks in surprise, you pull him nose-to-nose and, a crazed look in your eyes, you lay down the law.

"Come on, Phil - sneeze on me!"

Is this the future of breast cancer treatment? Hopefully, at least for Phil, it will be somewhat more clinical in nature. But, the common cold virus may play a significant role nonetheless.

Kathryn Skelding, a University of Newcastle researcher, is studying a new treatment based upon the common cold. In an application known as virotherapy, scientists hope to develop a breast cancer treatment that leaves healthy tissue undamaged and has few side effects. Virotherapy first came to light over 100 years ago when doctors observed that some women with breast cancer went into remission after acquiring a viral infection.

Current research focuses on engineering viruses, such as the common cold, to specifically target cancer cells. If successful, the new treatment will allow women to fight their breast cancers without the nausea, hair loss and other side effects that occur with existing treatments. In fact, the side effects may be no more serious than those typically experienced with a common cold.

Though still in Phase I Clinical Trials, this is all extremely good news. Particularly for Phil - with the constant line of women at his cubicle, he's about all sneezed out.

To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To read more about the biotechnology company sponsoring the clinical trial, see this from Viralytics.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Tim,

Wow! This sure sounds better than radiation and chemotherapy - and I don't even know Phil!

The Working Writer's Coach

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim, Great article. Very funny, but informative. I enjoy your style of writing very much - relaxed, friendly, intelligent tone. And the addition of the study and the journal - wow, impressive. I've always noted that it's hard to have two diseases at once, and this study probably hints at why. Geri from Writer's Meet-Up

9:11 AM  

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