US Pharm. 2016;41(12):HS-20.

Reoviruses, which cause childhood coughs and colds, could help in the fight against primary liver cancer, according to a study by University of Leeds researchers in England. The reovirus, say the scientists, is also able to kill the hepatitis C virus, which is a common cause of primary liver cancer and the third highest cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

Study coleader Dr. Stephen Griffin, associate professor of viral oncology at the University of Leeds, said, “Ultimately we hope that by simultaneously treating the tumour, and the hepatitis virus that is driving the growth of the tumour, we may provide a more effective therapy and improve the outcomes for patients.”

The University of Leeds team found that reovirus was successful against liver cancer cells grown in the laboratory as well as those collected from patients undergoing surgery. The study results were published in the journal Gut.