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Killing Cancer With a Virus

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the kill-it-dead dept.

Biotech 662

just___giver writes "The U.S. National Cancer Institute has just decided to fund multiple human clinical studies to test the reovirus. This naturally occuring virus has a remarkable ability to infect and kill cancer cells, without affecting normal, healthy cells. Here is a before and after picture of a terminal patient with an actively growing neck tumour that had failed to respond to conventional treatments. This tumour was eliminated with only a single injection of the Reovirus. Researchers at Oncolytics Biotech have shown that the Reovirus can kill many types of cancer, including breast, prostate, pancreatic and brain tumours. Human clinical trial results indicate that there are no safety concerns and that the reovirus shrinks and even eliminates tumours injected with this virus. Numerous other third party studies show that the reovirus should be an important discovery in the treatment of 2/3 of all human cancers."

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Side effects include... (-1, Offtopic)

dang-a-pin (585009) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389302)

getting on all fours and barking like a dog!

Re:Side effects include... (0)

rockclimber (660746) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389377)

golden age for a couple of civilizations ...

So, you see these signs too, Dr. Black? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389303)

Why sure Mrs. Rectangular.

Okay, lets try it then... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389306)

If this is a miracle, then why not approve it for people who will die without it. I mean, if I was in severe pain and going to die, I'd try it in a second.

Hope is better than nothing.

Re:Okay, lets try it then... (1)

wud (709053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389389)

why not approve it for people who will die without it
They can be part of the test.

Re:Okay, lets try it then... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389392)

'Matrix': The final chapter 'Revolutions' finishes off the saga LOS ANGELES, California (Reuters) -- Finally, after a six-month intermission and $735 million in global ticket sales, fans of the "Matrix" movies get what they have been waiting for: The End. When "The Matrix Reloaded" unspooled in theaters in May, Joel Silver, one of Hollywood's top producers and a master of media spin, was careful to tell reporters the movie was only one-half of the total sequel to 1999's smash hit "The Matrix." The second half, Silver said, comes later, as in Wednesday, when "The Matrix Revolutions" debuts simultaneously in 107 markets worldwide, including China and India, with about 10,000 film prints being distributed in the largest global film release ever. But if "Matrix" fans think Hollywood will come up with another two-part, effects-filled thriller costing $300 million, about humans being nearly annihilated by machines before a savior named Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, escapes his software simulated world to lead an uprising, they should think again. "This is the end of the story," Silver told Reuters in a recent interview. "The story of this 'Matrix' saga is over." Fans can take some solace in the fact that "Revolutions" is a big movie: faster-paced, more action-packed and with greater battles and grander special effects than they have seen. "Revolutions" is a little lighter on all the "Matrix" philosophy, although to give one little hint at what's to come, the yin and yang of life do merge in the software simulated world of the matrix just as they do here on Earth. In "Reloaded," Neo grappled internally with being the savior of the human race. In "Revolutions," he kicks a lot more machine butt, as do Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss) and Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) in a final battle to save the last human city of Zion. As real world computer users saw with this summer's Sobig.F virus, "Matrix" bug Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) can exist in many variants -- so many, in fact, he is unstoppable. "Revolutions" picks up exactly where "Reloaded" left off. The machines are tunneling toward Zion in a final effort to destroy the human race and claim Earth as their own. Two human ships with the central characters aboard have been dispatched in a last-ditch effort to shatter the machine-created matrix and, thus, thwart their adversaries. But before they can, in "Revolutions" Neo becomes lost in a purgatory (which looks a lot like a Manhattan subway station) between the real world and the software-created matrix. Meanwhile, the machines have reached the outer regions of Zion, where the humans put up a defiant, yet ultimately unwinnable battle. As the real world saying goes, however, the battle may be lost, but the war's not over. Neo, along with Trinity, voyage to the heart of the Machine City, where the final -- yes, final -- truth is revealed. But is that enough to save Zion? Not if Agent Smith has his way. "I've always felt that "Revolutions" would be a much more satisfying and entertaining experience," Silver said, because it is the final chapter. He likened it to the third act of a three-act play, where all is resolved. There will be no more "Matrix" movies, he swears, yet the characters -- some of them -- will carry on with their search for truth and meaning to live in an Internet game, in video games, in a book of "Matrix" comics and in DVDs, he added. "Everything that has a beginning, has an end," goes the "Revolutions" ad campaign slogan, which only prompts the notion that every end is also a beginning. That is the way of life -- the yin and yang. It is that way in Hollywood, and it is that way with "The Matrix" movies.

Re:Okay, lets try it then... (1)

RLW (662014) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389421)

Stop SPAMMING slashdot! We need a SPAM tag for slashdot moderators now. :-( Bastards! Ok, now is the time require log-ins for all posts.

Re:Okay, lets try it then... (5, Insightful)

RLW (662014) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389393)

Hope *is* better than nothing. New treatments are tried on terminal patients all the time: just like the person in the before and after links. However, non-terminal patients are not given experimental treatments until the studies are completed based on the effects experienced from the first group: the group everyone hopes they're never in. Once the medical community is convinced that this really works and once they have a handle on the side effects then the treatment will move outward from the most critically ill to other may benefit from it.

Re:Okay, lets try it then... (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389496)

Yes, but studies are generally kept to certain sizes. So if you aren't in the study and are terminally ill you can still be SOL. For instance, this is not being tested on anyone not already in the study.

Get a terminal cancer that would qualify you for the(or even a) study, and you definately aren't guaranteed to be able to get into one.

The miracle of Jihad (-1, Offtopic)

jihadi_31340 (721294) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389434)

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Re:Okay, lets try it then... (1, Insightful)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389457)

Because that would make sense, and lawmakers are bound by some higher law to avoid making sense as much as possible.

Oh, you're dying, it's a given, 3 months huh? Well, sorry, but you'll have to wait a few years for us to approve this, because it could kill you.

The virus is found naturally in shallow pools of water, I guess you could go around drinking from those...

Re:Okay, lets try it then... (1)

SiliconBateman (719736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389466)

I agree, but of course this does not mean giving it to all cancer patients [suffering the types of cancer this appears to combat] because not all cancer is terminal (i.e., there are existing treatments which do have good success rates for some cancers in some situations).

Based on Clinical Trails to Date?? (2)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389481)

Check out the link with the details on the trails conducted. Study groups of 18.... 24....

This investigational drug/virus has a long way to go before there is acceptance.

Re:Okay, lets try it then... (4, Insightful)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389493)

You must not live in the same country as I do. I can see someone using this treatment, dying (either related or unrelated to the treatment, it doesn't matter), and the surviving family sues for millions. Waivers be damned, because whenever you beleive something is unthinkable, there is always someone out there who thinks they are entitled to something. The United States is the land of malpractice insurance (!!!), after all.

Awesome! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389308)

Um, first post, grits, um, whatever, but seriously.. this is really wonderful news and very exciting!

Yeah but.... (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389313)

... does it run Linux?

Re:Yeah but.... (-1, Redundant)

scotch (102596) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389385)

I for one welcome our new virus overlords.

Re:Yeah but.... (-1, Offtopic)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389418)

Imagine a beowulf .....

Re:Yeah but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389438)

Does entire life have to revolve around linux?

Score: 1, Funny, my ass!

Re:Yeah but.... (-1, Redundant)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389534)

... does it run Linux?

One day, one day... [startrek.com] :-)

How do they know? (2, Insightful)

FractusMan (711004) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389314)

How do they know of any long-term effects this virus might have? I imagine it would take at least a few years to observe any feasable side-effects. Am I wrong?

Re:How do they know? (3, Interesting)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389336)

Certainly it will take a while. Unfortunately, people with terminal cancer whose alternative is worse than any possible side-effects, will have to wait for further research and FDA red tape for many years.

Re:How do they know? (2, Insightful)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389353)

True...it will take some time to find out the long term effects. But personally, if I had cancer, I'd accept the treatment so that I could still be around see what those side effects are...

Re:How do they know? (2, Interesting)

theparanoidcynic (705438) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389367)

With terminal patients does it really matter if side effects develop is a few years? Without the treatment they'd be dead in a few months anyway. Might as well just see what happens.

Re:How do they know? (1)

nih (411096) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389469)

That wont stop the patient from suing the company that developed the treatment, thats the world we live in:/

Re:How do they know? (4, Interesting)

Chmcginn (201645) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389456)

Well, if we're to believe the article, only cells with "an activated RAS pathway" are consistently affected by the virus. Now, I suppose that most cells don't generally have this, and that's why they are unaffected. But... are there any non-cancerous conditions in which this happens? They you've just got a very, very effective way of killing whatever set of cells that is...

Re:How do they know? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389462)

This is a virus that exists in the wild. It's not some sort of designer human pathogen. In the family of reoviruses are enteroviruses such as rotavirus, the most common cause of diarrhea in children.

so, to answer a previous AC's question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389516)

"In the family of reoviruses are enteroviruses such as rotavirus, the most common cause of diarrhea in children."

it doesn't run Linux, but it would give Linus the runs.

Re:How do they know? (1)

Flaming Halo (66391) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389500)

If you'd RTFFAQ, you'd see that 70% - 100% of a given population have already been infected by this virus in the past, so there doesn't seem to be much to worry about in terms of side effects.

Do you even know what planet you're on? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389505)

RTFA, asshat.

Re:How do they know? (1)

Aneurysm (680045) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389512)

This reminds me a bit of people who try to introduce non-native species to control a pest. Sometimes it works and sometimes the imported predator can end up causing more damage than the original pest ever did. Not saying this will happen, but is it not a possibility? Pest control gone wrong: http://www.sheddnet.org/con_shedd_02.html

Re:How do they know? (2, Informative)

TheWhaleShark (414271) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389526)

Typically, virii (or viruses, whatever) manifest their effects realtively quickly, due largely in part to the nature of the virus life cycle.

In addition, if the virus only responds to the receptors found on cancer cells (which is, I imagine, how it works), then there is next to no chance of it ever infecting normal healthy cells.

Though, I agree...this should be studied for a couple of more years, just to be on the safe side. However, I'm nigh positive that this could lead to a definitive cancer cure.

Re:How do they know? (3, Informative)

denisonbigred (611860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389538)

But ethically dubious experiments in which prisoners were injected with reovirus found that infection caused at most mild flu-like symptoms. Many people have been infected by reovirus as children with little effect more than a runny nose.

That text comes from section 3 of this [uwaterloo.ca] article. So it would seem that the answer to your question was determined quite some time ago.

side effects? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389315)

anyone?

Then it gets patented. (3, Interesting)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389324)

Well, it could have cured cancer for all, but that would threaten the integrity of our "intellectual property" system!

Re:Then it gets patented. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389366)

Then the company with the patent gets ignored by all. Or blown up. Canada and Brazil have given American companies the finger before on this issue as it's too important to fuck around with IP BS.

Well... (3, Funny)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389511)

When you cure cancer you can release the cure under the GPL, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

Beat me to it. (4, Funny)

Jade E. 2 (313290) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389328)

Damnit, I wanted to cure cancer. Oh, well, I guess I'll just move on to the next thing on my list, stopping aging.

Re:Beat me to it. (1)

EvilNight (11001) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389448)

I'd start here. [foresight.org]

Never create what you can't control. (0, Funny)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389329)

Numerous other third party studies show that the reovirus should be an important discovery in the treatment of 2/3 of all human cancers."

Until it mutates into a deadly pathogen!

Re:Never create what you can't control. (-1)

scumbucket (680352) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389362)

'Until it mutates into a deadly pathogen!'

Kind of like what has happened to /.

Re:Never create what you can't control. (1)

forand (530402) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389372)

Did you even read the overview? What part of: "this naturally occuring virus" means we created this?

Re:Never create what you can't control. (1)

Perl-Pusher (555592) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389387)

It was a joke! The line is from the trailer for the new Galactica series.

Re:Never create what you can't control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389519)

What part of "mutates" didn't you understand?

Re:Never create what you can't control. (1)

forand (530402) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389530)

Sorry didn't get the reference; still don't remember it. Since your original post is now moded "insightful" I don't think others got it either.

It's not a tumour! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389347)

Back on-topic (sort of), this reminds me of that William Gibson novel where AIDS was cured when some male hooker had a virus that combatted the HIV virus.

Re:It's not a tumour! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389369)

Virtual Light was the novel for those who are curious.

Re:It's not a tumour! (1)

SiliconBateman (719736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389528)

Apparantly there is some kind of new AIDS treatment coming out of South Africa which uses radiotherapy (?!).

A bit odd and out of the blue when I heard it... don't know how successful it it (nor can I find a link for it). Robin Griffiths (a senior bod at HSBC) mentioned it, which agai it a bit odd since he is a financier (although an incredibly well respected and influention person in the world of finance). But thought I'd mention it, so there you go!

Poor FARK.com (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389348)

They aren't going to be able to use headlines like this anymore on their stories:

Scientific study concludes that eating a lot of fast food and sitting in front of the TV makes you fat. Still no cure for cancer.

woohoo.. free drugs.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389349)

now to just find some standing water.. have a drink and get myself a good dose of..

*thud*

Its not open (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389352)

The virus has not been released under the GPL and it is patented by a large corporation. They won't be getting my money. I'll use the open source herbal alternatives to cure my cancer. Vote with your dollars. If enough of us cancer paintiants are willing to die for our cause they will have to change things eventually.

Oh great- (3, Funny)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389361)

I just finished deleting all those viruses off a client's network, and *now* you tell me they can be used for good? ..oh wait

Re:Oh great- (1)

JamesD_UK (721413) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389548)

But viruses sustain employment in the anti-virus sector. Surely that's a good thing? Now excuse me whilst I rush out to patent a means for program distribution through self replicating code.

good... (4, Informative)

mantera (685223) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389363)



i find these as very very welcome news, especially so that i have personally seen the effects of conventional therapies; if you're lucky you'll have a tumor they can cut out, if not then too many of those chemotherapies are way too toxic, and quite a few radiotherapies too.

Re:good... (4, Informative)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389474)



Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis by cannabinoids.

Blazquez C, Casanova ML, Planas A, Del Pulgar TG, Villanueva C, Fernandez-Acenero MJ, Aragones J, Huffman JW, Jorcano JL, Guzman M.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I, School of Biology, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.

Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana and their derivatives, induce tumor regression in rodents (8). However, the mechanism of cannabinoid antitumoral action in vivo is as yet unknown. Here we show that local administration of a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid to mice inhibits angiogenesis of malignant gliomas as determined by immunohistochemical analyses and vascular permeability assays. In vitro and in vivo experiments show that at least two mechanisms may be involved in this cannabinoid action: the direct inhibition of vascular endothelial cell migration and survival as well as the decrease of the expression of proangiogenic factors (vascular endothelial growth factor and angiopoietin-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 in the tumors. Inhibition of tumor angiogenesis may allow new strategies for the design of cannabinoid-based antitumoral therapies.

PMID: 12514108 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Surgical strike medicine (2, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389378)

I have long suspected that the best cures for the worst diseases would be "surgical strike" techniques instead of the all or nothing approach of radiation and chemotherapy type solutions.

I wouldn't be surprised to see nanotech get involved in the action at some point.

Anyone looking to invest in companies for the long term should pay attention to companies that do this type of work.

Re:Surgical strike medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389413)

QUOTE: I wouldn't be surprised to see nanotech get involved in the action at some point.

Here you go: http://www.msnbc.com/modules/exports/ct_email.asp? /news/988637.asp

Re:Surgical strike medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389419)

I have long suspected that the best cures for the worst diseases would be "surgical strike" techniques instead of the all or nothing approach of radiation and chemotherapy type solutions.

You figured that out all on your own?

Nanotech (4, Insightful)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389455)

This seems to me to BE nanotech. It's just produced by nature instead of someone in a lab coat.

The really cool thing to do with this virus (assuming it really is harmless to normal human cells) would be to create an implant with a hospitible environment that 'feeds' it and keeps a minimum population of viable viruses in your body for an extended period of time to whack cancers as they start.

Re:Nanotech (2, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389506)

I guess technically it IS nanotech. I just meant human-made non-organic (or viral) nanotech.

Or maybe a twice a year innoculation against cancers.

Now if they could program these things to seek and destroy cells infected by various VD's and put an end to one of the biggest dangers of sex then the world would be a very interesting place indeed.

Virus fighting virus... (0)

nubbie (454788) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389384)

Pretty cool stuff I have to admit! Lets only hope software companies with take a page from medicine. nubbie

YEA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389386)

rite. Welcome AIDS II, Revolutions.

Play with fire... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389388)

and you'll get burnt...

Your enemys enemy is not always your friend...

These things have been tried before and dont always work, take using the Mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, it came back to haunt us later...

SMOKE THEM IF YOU GOT THEM! (3, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389394)


Hah, here I was thinking I'd have to quit. Now, I'll just get a shot and knock the tumor right out.

Re:SMOKE THEM IF YOU GOT THEM! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389483)

I was thinking that too.

But then there's still all that pesky emphysema and respiratory illness bullshit.

Oh well, at least it makes you look really cool. (Despite all the anti-smoking propoganda)

Wheres the comback (-1, Troll)

pastpolls (585509) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389397)

Drug makers make ther money on the come back (see crack dealers as well). Think about it... the last thing really cured was probably polio. I am sure that if this works you will have to keep getting "regular injections" in order to keep the cancer away. I am sure there will never be a pill or shot that can cure cancer... just let you live with it. I am sure at a few hundred bucks a shot (or whatever they choose), some company will make billions on everyone getting their "no cancer shots..." or better yet give them periodically throughout life and let the government pay for it, how do I get stock in that company :)

Re:Wheres the comback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389445)

what comedian was it that had that in his act? chris rock maybe? he did it funnier than you.

Here's your 'comback' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389449)

Such a lot of cynicism for a teenager.. you should be hanging out at the mall or groping some fugly chick in a dark theatre instead of giving yourself ulcers worrying about stupid shit that only happens in books and movies.

Resistance (1, Insightful)

mrt300 (580362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389417)

Hopefully this won't create any kind of virus-resistant cancer. As if normal cancer isn't bad enough, we sure as heck don't need a mutant super-cancer running around.

Re:Resistance (3, Informative)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389515)

I may be out of date in my medical knowledge... but I'm pretty sure cancers can only develop an immunity in a single person over a course of treatment, and can't spread like a virus or bacteria to other people carrying the acquired immunity with it.

After all, cancers aren't transmitted between people, they spontaneously appear for a variety of reasons.

"Killing Cancer With a Virus" (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389426)


Let Windows run wild for a couple of weeks and the all life on the planet will be virus free.

finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389427)

finally some interesting and exciting news.

Ahhhh (1)

nnnneedles (216864) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389431)

Nothing like a warm cup of coffee and some pics of a young blonde with external cancer.

Clarify (4, Informative)

forand (530402) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389432)

It seems people think that we made this virus, if you go to the link [oncolyticsbiotech.com] in the overview you will see that:
3. What is the reovirus Reovirus stands for Respiratory Enteric Orphan Virus. The reovirus is a naturally occurring virus to which most of us have been exposed in our lifetime. It is a non-pathogenic virus, meaning that it is not usually associated with any illness. Between 70 and 100 per cent of the population show signs of previous reovirus infection, which is usually confined to the respiratory or gastrointestinal systems in the body.

4. Where does the reovirus come from? Reovirus is found naturally in shallow pools of water, lakes or streams or in the sewage system.

Hope this clarifies things.

Re:Clarify (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389486)

so we can cure cancer by rolling around in the sewers? sweet.

Re:Clarify (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389550)

Since nearly everyone has been exposed to this and it's non pathogenic, it would seem beneficial to develope some way to un-innoculate the populate so that everyone is a carrier of it all the time.

Such a thought kind of stands medical research on its ear though. Anyone have any example of (non weapon) research being done to make people catch and carry a beneficial virus?

Not so fast buckwheat! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389433)


Some biotech companies have been known to lie about drug pipelines and even to trial patients in order to boost their stock prices.

Does the name Ethyol ring a bell?

Prior Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389441)

MS holds the patent for creating a system that is very accomodating to viruses. I'm sure after the Eolas suit, MS is looking to prove something in court and this could be it.

Orson Scott Card reference (2, Interesting)

The Pi-Guy (529892) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389442)

Is it just me or does htis sound like the Recolada virus that was created in Xenocide? (Is that a 'layman's' way to explain it?)

Re:Orson Scott Card reference (1)

Michael Crutcher (631990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389499)

I read that book a long time ago but don't remember much, could you refresh our memories? Didn't have something to do with OCD?

But... (1)

marshac (580242) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389446)

I was reading the FAQ on this virus and it said that 70-100% of any given population has evidence that it has been exposed to this virus before. I may be wrong, but I had always been told that once you have been infected by a virus, you can't be infected again. If that's the case, does this viral "drug" only work on people who have never been exposed to the virus before?

I will say though.... This is truly amazing if it works as well as reported.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389527)

Cancer cells rapidly multiply, so the retrovirus can infect them before the antibodies can attack and destroy the retrovirus.

Immunity to a virus means you built up antibodies that can attack and destroy an instace of the virus, but the process isn't instantaneous...

Not the newest news (1)

Kaz Riprock (590115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389450)


Using cancer-cell-specific viruses isn't too new (although the NCI funding is). My lab has been working with this company [onyx-pharm.com] for a little over a year on their attenuated adenovirus for cancer-specific targeting.

Advanced Prostate cancer (1)

gpinzone (531794) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389460)

I have a freind with advanced prostate cancer. It's in his bone marrow. From the link, I doubt he would be a candidate since his prostate is already gone. However, I would like to know if this treatment (once it's approved) would benefit him. Since the cancer has already spread throughout his body, I doubt it.

Get it to the terminally ill patients now! (3, Insightful)

dalutong (260603) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389470)

I have recently had a relative and family friend die from cancer.

In the case of my friend he only found out nine months before his death that he even had cancer. They tried every treatment available, but it had spread too far.

Something like this would have been wonderful. Once they had found out that it was far too wide-spread for normal treatments Ronnie would have jumped at a chance for this.

Some may say that we should try it without knowing the long-term effects, I disagree. With terminally ill patients there is no hope. This provides a double solution -- not only should the virus kill the cancer, it provides the patient with a reason to keep on fighting.

I hope they get this to all the terminally ill patients that they can ASAP.

FDA Approval (1)

Angry_Admin (685125) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389475)

After having both parent die slowly of cancer, I can imagine how many people will be beating down the FDA's door to push this treatment into mainstream use?
Even only using it on "terminally ill" patients (maybe there wouldn't be such a thing with this method? At least, not by todays standards), would the FDA still take years, if not a decade, to approve this?

cancer and viruses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389476)

does Microsoft count as a cancer?

Patents? (1)

marshac (580242) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389479)

We all know that a patent will follow from this "discovery"... can you patent something that is naturally occurring, and that 70-100% of us have already been exposed to?

Could cleaner people have higher cases of cancer? (4, Interesting)

eyeball (17206) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389480)

Ok, I am not a biologist, and have no scientific basis for this, but...

According to the FAQ:


4. Where does the reovirus come from?

Reovirus is found naturally in shallow pools of water, lakes or streams or in the sewage system.


So assuming that we could naturally ingest these Reoviri, would someone in a cleaner environment be at a higher risk for cancer (or more to the point, a higher risk from dieing before the Reovirus healed them)? It would be really interesting to find out that drinking bottled water and organtic foods is actually increasing the risk of death from cancer.

..."non-pathogenic virus"... (0, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389484)

"It is a non-pathogenic virus, meaning that it is not usually associated with any illness."

Sure, that's what it WANTS us to think. Friendly, helpful virus. Easy to get along with virus. "I'll help save 2/3 of all cancer victims" virus.

Then when we're licking reovirus lollipops and gulping down reovirus power shakes, that's when it reveals it's true agenda: World domination.

I, for one, do NOT welcome our new reovirus overlords. Who's with me?

What companies will produce it? (1)

donnyspi (701349) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389491)

...and what are their ticker symbols!

Why do they try to find a cure? (0, Troll)

DroopyStonx (683090) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389508)

If they find a cure for cancer, they lose out on funding. That's the only way these places get paid. They'd no longer need funding for something that has a cure.

Maybe it's a conspiracy theory, but... the closer they come to their goal, the closer they are to being out of jobs.

So now... why would they want to find a cure?

I got all exited... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7389513)

When I saw the before and after pics and noticed female hair and then realised it was the hair on her head....

Re:I got all exited... (0)

twoslice (457793) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389531)

You sir, are a real geek!

enter super-virus (0)

'the_real'_System_Fa (699096) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389518)

good idea but i can see this backfiring horribly...

D'oh! (1)

Gldm (600518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389522)

Now we've exhausted the wonders list for our civilization to build! I guess we go conquering enemy cities then?

Pancreatic... (1)

dameron (307970) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389537)

Anything that shows any improvement in the survival rates for pancreatic cancer would be fantastic. Currently pancreatic cancer is basically a death sentence, with a 5% survival rate at 5 years.

I know it's a cliche, and a total farkism, but every time I read about something like "Chickens Prefer Beautiful Humans" [archaeoworld.com] I can't help but think perhaps some of our scientists could find a little better use for their time.

-dameron

Another Recent Cancer Cure Story (2, Interesting)

Alethes (533985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389542)

Here is an article [cnn.com] concerning the possiblity of using scorpion venom to cure cancer.

Ever happen naturally? (5, Interesting)

mariox19 (632969) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389547)

Reading the article (which by the way puts one in the top 1% of /. readers), it seems this reovirus is quite common, and that non-cancerous cells kill it off quite readily. I wonder though if this reovirus has ever "wandered in" on cancer cells in a patient and led to remission in that patient.

You always here anecdotal stories about some people recovering in cases where others haven't, and it's usually attributed to God, positive thinking, a close family, and so forth.

Maybe it's been these little buggers all along.

old soviet PHAGE technique (5, Interesting)

peter303 (12292) | more than 10 years ago | (#7389549)

Using viruses to attack diseases is a technique [nature.com] from the early 20th century. It was widely used in Russia, but fell out of favor when anitbiotics were discovered. It appears to be reviving.
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