Chinese scientists next week will begin testing a virus known as M1, which they claim can kill cancer cells without harming normal ones.
A research team led by Professor Yan Guanngmei from the Zhongshan School of Medicine under the Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangdong province extracted the virus from a specific kind of mosquito in Hainan province, Xinhua reports.
“This kind of mosquito was found by other Chinese scientists in 1964. Our achievement is that we proved the virus carried by these mosquitoes can be possibly used in cancer therapies.”
Yan said the virus can curb cancer cells’ growth without causing damage to normal cells, and that animal tests so far have revealed that it is effective on cancer cells of the liver, bladder, colon and rectum.
The discovery of the M1 virus was published in the October edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
It may take up to three years for clinical testing to begin.
Six people are diagnosed with cancer every minute in China, according to a 2013 report in a Chinese Medical journal. There are around 3.12 new cases of cancer reported every year in China, leading to over two million deaths per year.
Cancer of the lung, stomach, rectum, liver and oesophagus are the most prevalent kinds in China, and lung cancer has proven to be the most deadly among them.
[Image via CRI]