Cow-pox like virus that kills most cancers tested in Australia

A virus that could kill cancer cells is being developed in Australia.
A virus that could kill cancer cells is being developed in Australia. Photo credit: Newshub

A cancer expert has created a cow-pox like virus that has killed most types of cancer cells in tests and is expected to be trialled on humans next year. 

American Professor Yumang Fong has created the virus, called CF33, and tested it in a petrie dish, where it successfully killed the cancer cells. 

It also reduced tumours in mice and is now being developed by an Australian biotech company Imugene. 

It is hoped the virus can be tested on breast cancer patients next year the Daily Telegraph in Australia reported. 

It is hoped patients with melanoma, lung, bladder, gastric and bowel cancer will also be tested. 

Viruses have been used in the past to treat specific cancers but not a wide range like this. 

The virus helps the body's immune system to recognise and destroy tumours in the body. 

"There was evidence that viruses could kill cancer from the early 1900s when people vaccinated against rabies had their cancer disappear, they went into remission," Professor Fong told the Daily Telegraph.

The virus is based on the cowpox virus, which is harmless for humans and it would be injected directly into the tumour. 

The virus would infect the cancer cells and alert them to the body's immune system. 

In the 2007 film, I am Legend starring Will Smith a virus that was created to kill cancer mutated and instead killed off most of the world's population. Many of those it didn't kill turned into crazed zombies who fed off the survivors.