Fight fire with a burning sensation

Research published recently in the Journal of Clinical Oncology indicates that the herpes simplex virus might be a viable treatment for cancer. Trials involving 400 patients suffering from malignant melanoma, the most severe type of skin cancer, showed that those treated by a specialized strain of herpes were up to eight times more likely to survive compared to a control group that underwent ordinary procedures.
This oncolytic strain of the herpes simplex virus, called T-Vec, works using a dual mechanism that not only targets and kills cancer cells, but can also lead the body’s own immune system to fight cancerous cells. The T-Vec strain is not the sole example of pathogens being harnessed to treat cancer, with previous research exploring the use of herpes simplex on brain tumors. The T-Vec treatment is currently awaiting approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before it can be used to treat patients.