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November 05, 2003
Blame it on Reo

This story that I read today on Slashdot was particularly fascinating.

Apparently, an otherwise-benign virus (the "reovirus") has been used quite effectively to kill many types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and pancreatic, among others. According to the reovirus FAQ, 70 to 100 percent of the population show signs of reovirus infection. In those with healthy immune systems, when the reovirus is detected, an anti-virual response is triggered and the virus is destroyed. The reovirus is effective in killing cancerous cells because this anti-viral response is suppressed in said cells, so the reovirus is free to work its magic and kill the cancerous cell. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's more complicated than that, but if you're really interested, read the FAQ.

The US National Cancer Institute has decided to fund multiple clinical trials of the drug. One thing I learned from working in biotech is that compelling a government-run agency to fund multiple clinical trials is an extremely encouraging indicator that the drug in question will be successful.

Here's what struck me most: before and after pictures of a tumor that was eliminated after only one treatment with the Reovirus.

It's incredible to think that cancer might be cured in my lifetime.

>> reemer @ 12:11 AM
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