How Viruses Could Cure Cancer and Save Lives

“When a virus is given to a tumor, the tumor becomes infected tissue,” says Vincenzo Cerullo, an oncolytic cancer vaccine immunologist at the University of Helsinki. That catalyzes swarms of T cells to rush to a tumor, ready to defend the body. Today, checkpoint inhibitor drugs are effective in only a small percentage of patients. Add in a virus, however, and that percentage can double or triple.