The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new virus-based therapy that uses the talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) virus, a genetically engineered herpes simplex strain, to fight off cancer cells.
While scientists still have no idea how to eradicate cancer, new treats are helping put a stop to abnormal cell growth and in some cases cure certain types of cancer.
This new process involves infecting the patient’s body with a variation of the herpes virus that won’t cause herpes as we think of it. Instead, the virus attacks tumor cells and kill them.
The newly approved virus treatment is effective in fighting against advanced melanoma, initiating “cellular carnage.” The virus also carries a protein called GM-CSF that triggers the immune system that jumps in as the virus destroys cancer cells.
Clinical trials have shown that the virus was able to shrink down tumors and extend patient survival by 4.4 months. Once combined with other forms of treatment, the drug could prove to be even more successful.