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Two ills in a fight:
herpes versus skin cancer.
The winner? Herpes!

Normally, if you find 100 people newly diagnosed with stage IV metastatic melanoma, a skin cancer that has spread to other organs in the body, and give them the best available treatment: chemo, radiation, etc, and check up on them in a year, you'll have about 25 left alive.

This new treatment uses a modified HSV-1 virus (yes, herpes), injected directly into the cancer lesions on the skin. The virus has been modified in apparently 3 ways: It's ability to infect neurons has been removed; it needs a chemical cancer cells produce; and it carries GM-CSF, a chemical messenger which attracts and antagonizes macrophages (immune cells which kill and eat bacteria and diseased cells).

So they took this mutant herpes virus, injected it into the skin cancers of 50 Stage-III and Stage-IV patients, and waited a year. What did they find?

Of the 50, 21 were dead, 16 had cancer, and 13 were completely cured. The expected null result would be about 37 dead and 13 with cancer.

By "completely cured", I mean they went looking. On one woman, they rebiopsied her liver tumor, and found cancer cells. Dead cancer cells. Not a single living cancer cell in the biopsy.

That's an amazing result.

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that's absolutely amazing! thanks!

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