Trial Uses Common Cold To Fight Pancreatic Cancer - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

Trial Uses Common Cold To Fight Pancreatic Cancer

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A breakthrough in cancer treatment is unfolding in Central Ohio, targeting pancreatic cancer by using the common cold virus.

Pancreatic cancer has a high mortality rate. 94 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within five years. But a new trial is using the common cold to kill cancer.

The cold virus is part of a new trial at The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center.

"This virus is likely to be the next standard of care in pancreas cancer," said Dr. Tanios Bekaii-Saab.

Saab is leading the charge in the first-of-its-kind trial on reolysin in pancreatic cancer.

Reolysin is the virus that causes the common cold.

"When it gets in the cancer sell, it acts in a completely different way. It's very harmful to the cancer cell, which is exactly what we want it to do," Sabb said.

Saab said the results have been amazing so far, both slowing cancer growth and reducing the size of the tumor.

It leaves healthy cells in the body alone.

It sounds too good to be true, but it's the future, and is just the beginning of virus cancer treatments unfolding currently.

"This is an oncologist's dream where you find an agent that has minimal toxicity, but when it gets to the cancer, it induces absolute harm to the cancer," Saab said.

Patients are also given chemotherapy treatment, but have fewer side effects, and are living longer with the new treatment.

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