Cancer researchers around the world are excited about a virus-based treatment developed in Ottawa that blows up leukemia cells “like popcorn.”
Results of the treatment, which boasts a 60 per cent cure rate in mice, are so promising and safe that it could go to clinical trials in humans in as little as two years.
The treatment is an engineered virus micro-particle that attacks leukemia cells. Within a day of an injection, the membranes of the cancer cells are compromised. The cell membranes deteriorate and the cells blow up “like popcorn,” says hematologist Dr. David Conrad, the senior co-author of the study.