Wed, Mar 06, 2013 - Page 10 News List

Genetically engineered virus kills cancer

Cancer patients pass time at U Hla Tun Cancer Hospice, just outside Yangon, Myanmar on Feb. 22.
癌症病患二月二十二日在緬甸仰光近郊的U Hla Tun癌症照護中心消磨時間。

Photo: Reuters

A genetically-engineered virus tested in 30 terminally-ill liver cancer patients significantly prolonged their lives, killing tumors and inhibiting the growth of new ones, scientists reported.

Sixteen patients given a high dose of the therapy survived for 14.1 months on average, compared to 6.7 months for the 14 who got the low dose.

“For the first time in medical history we have shown that a genetically-engineered virus can improve survival of cancer patients,” study co-author David Kirn said.

The four-week trial with the vaccine Pexa-Vec, or JX-594, reported in the journal Nature Medicine may hold promise for the treatment of advanced solid tumors.

Pexa-Vec “is designed to multiply in and subsequently destroy cancer cells, while at the same time making the patients’ own immune defence system attack cancer cells also,” said Kirn from California-based biotherapy company Jennerex.

Pexa-Vec has been engineered from the vaccinia virus, which has been used as a vaccine for decades, including in the eradication of smallpox.










1. inhibit v.

抑制;約束 (yi4 zhi4; yue1 shu4)

例: His strict upbringing inhibited him from asking questions.


2. hold promise idiom

有希望、有潛力的 (you3 xi1 wang4; you3 qian2 li4)

例: The new drug holds promise for helping to control addiction.


3. advanced adj.

先進的;後階段的 (xian1 jin4 de5; hou4 jie1 duan4 de5)

例: The night is well advanced.


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