Developed by an Australian biotech company Imugene, the overall engineering of the treatment can be credited to US cancer expert Professor Yuman Fong.
After cancer became one of the most dreaded diseases in the world, a few scientists, led by Professor Fong, developed a virus which causes common cold, and turned it into a treatment alternative.
Speaking on how he stumbled upon the idea of mixing cowpox, Professor Fong said:
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. The problem was if you made the virus toxic enough to kill cancer you were worried it would also kill man.
To get rid of this dilemma, Professor Fong started using cowpox – a harmless virus, which could be effectively used to treat smallpox 200 years ago.
Further, the virus is expected to infect the cancer cells and make them explode. This in turn can send signals to our immune system alerting it about the growth of other cancerous cells, prompting the diseased cells to be killed.
Even though the effect of this virus is yet to be tested to perfection, scientists have shown faith in this trial.