Bird virus could treat prostate cancer

26 February 2013

A contagious bird disease "shows promise" as a treatment for prostate cancer, researchers in the US say.

Newcastle disease, which affects many domestic and wild avian species, kills all kinds of prostate cancer cells but leaves normal cells unscathed, according to research by the American Society for Microbiology.

Used as a treatment for prostate cancer, the virus would avoid the adverse side effects typically associated with hormonal treatment for prostate cancer, as well as those associated with cancer chemotherapies generally.

Newcastle disease, which has already shown promising results for various forms of cancer, has significant advantages over other cancer treatments, researchers said.

The modified virus is now ready to be tested in preclinical animal models, and possibly in phase I human clinical trials.

In 2010, more than 40,000 men in the UK received a prostate cancer diagnosis, according to Cancer Research UK.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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