X-Message-Number: 10793
From: "Olaf Henny" <>
Subject: Re: CryoNet #10784; Reovirus May Cure a Variety of Cancers
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:46:07 -0800

Hi All:

I have finally obtained a copy of the article, which appeared in the Calgary
Herald on Friday, Nov. 13, 1998.  I retrieved it from one of my own forur
postings each in sci.cryonics and sci.life-extension.  I posted them first
at 10:48 am and then there times more in intervals fro 1 - 4 hours, when
they failed to show up on my news reader (I wished, I could figure out how
to make WinVN compatible with Windows 98;  - any advice appreciated).

They were still not there more than 24 hrs after the last posting, and half
of them finally showed up today:



Here is the article:

Reovirus May Cure a Variety of Cancers
U of C cancer discovery a major 'breakthrough'

Virus used to attack tumours

Robert Walker, Calgary Herald

A promising new cancer cure -- in which tumours are attacked by a virus
which kills only cancerous cells --was unveiled by Calgary researchers

Dr. Patrick Lee and colleagues at the University of Calgary medical school
have applied to conduct research on humans within 18 months, and the
treatment could be available
for a wide range of cancers in five to seven years.

"A potential cure, that is exactly what it is," a cautious Lee told a news
conference at the medical school.

Lee has tested the virus on 25 different types of cancer cells, including
breast, brain, prostate and pancreatic cancer. Twenty of the 25 types of
cells were killed by the virus.

"Lo and behold, when you hit it with the virus, bingo, these kind of cells
Lee said.

"For our cancer program in Calgary, this is the biggest breakthrough we have
ever had, and one of the most important we have seen in this country," said
Dr. Randy Johnston, director of the Southern Alberta Cancer Research Centre.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in Canadians after heart
disease.  As many as 128,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cancer each year,
and one in four Canadians will die of cancer or related illnesses.

Lee's team found that tumours in mice shrank markedly after being injected
with the virus. And the more malignant the cell, the more vigorously it was
destroyed.  Lee and his team believe the virus is attracted to the cancer
cells through a biochemical process known as the Ras signalling pathway.
In cancer cells, the pathway is highly activated, resulting in runaway cell
growth. The virus is attracted to the hyperactive cells and attacks them.

After the virus has entered a cancer cell and killed it, it reproduces and
other cancer cells until all the cancer cells are destroyed, Lee said.

Researchers are waiting for permission from the Health Protection Branch of
Health Canada to go ahead with tests on human subjects in 12 to 18 months,
said Lee, who has worked with the virus for 20 years.  The virus is not
linked to any human diseases, though it sometimes causes mild respiratory
and stomach infections in humans, Lee said.

Results of the research program are published today in the prestigious
magazine Science.

Dr. Peter Forsyth, a brain and cancer specialist who helped with the
breakthrough, said that if approved, the therapy will be used in combination
with conventional chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Viruses are part of a wave of new cancer treatments. The cold virus is being
used as a mechanism to deliver an immune-system gene into the tumours of 30
breast and skin cancer patients. Part of the virus is removed and replaced
with interleukin-2 gene, which causes the body to produce
T-cells, a defence against diseases, including cancer.

Animal studies have found the technique can cure mice of breast cancer. The
therapy is already being tested on a small group of human volunteers and the
results should be known by spring.

The herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores is also being used in a
similar fashion and scientists at the University of British Columbia hope to
begin test on humans within a year.

Lee and his co-workers belong to the University of Calgary cancer biology
research group in the Faculty of Medicine. They are part of a team at the U
of C and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre which has mushroomed from 12
researchers to a 50-strong world-class group in the last
10 years.

The study leading to the discovery was funded by the Medical Research
Council of Canada, the Alberta Cancer Board, the Alberta Heritage Foundation
for Medical Research and Trans-Canada
PipeLines Ltd.

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