Common cold virus may kill breast cancer cells

University of Newcastle researcher Kathryn Skelding, funded by the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Viralytics Ltd, has been working on a new treatment which only affects cancer cells – this would be an improvement on conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which also impact on normal body cells.

"In theory, the virus is able to selectively target and destroy many different types of cancer cells, including breast cancers, whilst leaving normal cells unaffected," she said.

Debilitating symptoms associated with conventional treatments (such as nausea, vomiting and hair loss) could also be avoided by using the Coxsackie virus.

"If this research is successful we could have something that produces side effects as harmless as a mild, common cold-like infection yet it could successfully treat breast cancer," Ms Skelding said.

The Skelding project, and other ground-breaking research, will be discussed at the NBCF Annual Breakfast Briefing, a series of national events to communicate with the Foundation's corporate and general public supporters.

In Canberra, the breakfast briefing will be held on Thursday March 22 at Parliament house.

University of Wollongong's Professor Don Iverson will report on the progress of breast cancer research in Australia. His presentation will highlight achievements, and the way ahead for breast cancer research in order to have the greatest impact on the disease.

Source: Research Australia


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