Can the Common Cold Cure Cancer?
Australian scientists are looking into the common cold to see if this can be a cure for cancer.
The idea comes from a medical research science called oncolytic virotherapy, a concept propagated by Hippocrates. The Greek physician has always been cited with the saying, “Give me the power to create a fever and I shall cure any disease.”
2,500 years after Hippocrates, scientists from the University of Newcastle said that the saying has a lot of merit.
A group of Australian biotechnologists said the common cold can be a weapon against cancer. An African boy went into remission from Burkitt’s lymphoma after he was exposed to the measles virus. After a few weeks, the eight-year-old boy’s tumor regressed completely.
Another medical case was cited in 1971 at The Lancet, a British medical journal. The case stated a Hungarian chicken farmer went into remission after he was exposed to an avian virus called Newcastle when it affected the farm. The farmer was suffering from advanced colorectal cancer before the avian virus.
Despite claims that the common cold can beat cancer, it is only recently that scientists have taken a closer look. University of Newcastle associate professor Darren Shafren said that even though the evidence sounds anecdotal, this can be developed with the right tools and technologies.
Shafren also heads Viralytics, a company the conducts clinical trials and uses virus to help find treatment for cancer patients. The University of Newcastle is one of the biggest shareholders of Viralytics. If the clinical trials proved to be successful, pharmaceutical companies are expected to step in for global marketing and distribution.