Australian scientists believe they may be able to use a common cold-producingvirus to successfully treat breast cancer patients, in a way that is much lessdebilitating than chemotherapy.
University of Newcastle researcher Kathryn Skelding, funded by the NationalBreast Cancer Foundation and Viralytics Ltd, has been working on a newtreatment which only affects cancer cells ? this would be an improvement onconventional chemotherapy and radiation treatment, which also impact on normalbody cells.
“In theory, the virus is able to selectively target and destroy many different typesof cancer cells, including breast cancers, whilst leaving normal cells unaffected,”she said.
Debilitating symptoms associated with conventional treatments (such as nausea,vomiting and hair loss) could also be avoided by using the Coxsackie virus.
“If this research is successful we could have something that produces sideeffects as harmless as a mild, common cold-like infection yet it could successfullytreat breast cancer,” Ms Skelding said.
Latest research to be revealed at Canberra briefing
The Skelding project, and other ground-breaking research, will be discussed atthe NBCF Annual Breakfast Briefing, a series of national events to communicatewith the Foundation’s corporate and general public supporters.
In Canberra, the breakfast briefing will be held on Thursday March 22 atParliament house.
University of Wollongong’s Professor Don Iverson will report on the progress ofbreast cancer research in Australia. His presentation will highlight achievements,and the way ahead for breast cancer research in order to have the greatestimpact on the disease.
The NBCF has thrown its weight behind a National Action Plan for Breast CancerResearch and Funding, developing sustainable research collaborations, whichcould halve the time it will take to answer the big questions in breast cancer.
National Breast Cancer Foundation CEO Ms Sue Murray said NBCF funds aredirected to the best research in Australia, unlimited by state boundaries.
“The NBCF is committed to funding the Australian research that will have thebiggest impact on the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. This researchwill be translated into benefits for all Australians, regardless of which State theresearch is conducted in.” Ms Murray said.