The herpes virus has been harnessed for a workable treatment for skin cancer. If you were recently diagnosed with herpes, or suspect that you may have herpes, there’s a certain stigma that comes along with it. This antibody could potentially be an ingredient in an anti-herpes topical cream or other anti- herpes treatments, but more importantly the algae expression technology that the TSRI team used could facilitate production of any number of human antibodies and other proteins on a massive scale. They find that the drug’s antiviral properties stem from its ability to block a key step in viral infection that is common to all herpesviruses. The herpes-based drug is called T-VEC and has already been sent to the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medical Agency for approval and researchers hope it will be available for consumers as early as next year. You’ve unfortunately joined the statistics. Lerner, M.D.
Swaminathan’s team uncovered spironolactone’s antiviral properties in a screen to identify drugs that work through a mechanism that is different from that of existing anti-herpesvirus drugs. Over 16 per cent of patients responded positively to the drug after more than six months, compared to 2.1 per cent who were given a control treatment. You’re not alone in the least. After a bacterium, virus, or other pathogen enters the bloodstream, antibodies target antigens – proteins, carbohydrate molecules, and other pieces of the pathogen – specific to that foreign invader. Previous studies showed that the drug treats heart failure through a different, metabolic mechanism. While previous testing has shown benefits of such treatments, “this is the first study to prove an increase in survival,” said Dr Frend. Together the results suggest the two mechanisms are separable.
In fact, there may be over 200 proteins that could potentially be new anti-cancer, anti- inflammatory, anti-arthritis compounds, says Mayfield. Spironolactone could be developed as a new medicine against EBV, a common and dangerous infection among transplant and other immunocompromised patients. But because all herpesviruses depend on SM-like proteins to spread infection, the work also has broader implications. Spironolactone could be a template for a new class of drug directed against all herpesviruses.