After receiving the viral therapy, several of the dogs had their tumors disappear entirely and lived into old age without recurring cancer. Given that around 85 percent of dogs with oral cancer will develop a new tumor within a year of radiation therapy, the results were striking. The treatment, Hoopes felt, had the potential to be a breakthrough that could save lives, both human and canine.
“If a treatment works in dog cancer, it has a very good chance of working, at some level, in human patients,” says Hoopes.
The new cancer therapy is based on the cowpea mosaic virus, or CPMV, a pathogen that takes its name from the mottled pattern it creates on the leaves of infected cowpea plants, which are perhaps best known as the source of black-eyed peas.
See A common plant virus is an unlikely ally in the war on cancer
Promising results from injecting dog and mouse tumors with the cowpea mosaic virus.