Scientists create designer viruses that send ‘killer cells’ to fight tumor

A team of Swiss scientists have created artificial viruses that stimulate the immune system which in turn activates and sends a “powerful army” of so-called killer cells to fight cancerous tumors. Cancer cells are notoriously good at evading the immune system, but viral infections cause the body to act quickly, stimulating the system to use all available means to fight the unwanted invader.

This new designer therapy capitalizes on the body’s ability to quickly spot a virus, so that when the immune system “sees” it, it can hunt down cancer, hopefully killing the tumor, according to the press release published by the University of Basel. Researchers, lead by Professor Daniel Pinschewer from the University of Basel and Professor Doron Merkler from the University of Geneva, built artificial viruses based on lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), which can infect both rodents and humans. READ MORE