International – Genetically modified herpes combats advanced cancers

A new genetically engineered virus has delivered a one-two punch in initial phase 1 trial

Researchers have found that RP2 – a modified version of the herpes simplex virus – has showed signs of effectiveness in a quarter of patients with a range of advanced cancers.

Patients on the trial had cancers including skin, oesophageal and head and neck cancer and had tried other treatments, including checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy.

The early findings – presented at the 2022 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress (ESMO) – suggest cancer-killing viruses could potentially offer hope to some patients where other forms of immunotherapy have not worked…