A cold virus with extra-gripping power is an efficient weapon against a deadly form of brain cancer, suggests a new report. These anti-tumour microbes have proved so successful in recent mouse experiments that researchers hope to start a clinical trial next year.

The virus, known as Delta-24-RGD, was able to destroy human glioma tumours implanted in mice 60 per cent of the time and unpublished work suggests it can be made even more effective by combining it with other therapies. “We’ve never seen this kind of response before with any other treatment tested in either animals or humans,” says Juan Fueyo of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Michael Korn, an oncology researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, says: “This work is really nicely done. It definitely warrants bringing the virus into a clinical situation to see what happens.”
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