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When breast oncologists see new patients, one of their hopes is that the patient doesn’t have triple-negative breast cancer. The subtype is considered particularly dangerous, as it tends to grow and spread more aggressively than other types, and it has fewer effective treatment options. But a small new study suggests that help might come from an engineered virus.

In a Phase 2 trial, published in Nature Medicine on Thursday, injecting early-stage triple-negative tumors with a cancer-killing virus called T-VEC, made by Amgen, during chemotherapy before surgery seems to result in improved survival compared to chemotherapy alone, said Hatem Soliman, a breast medical oncologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center and the lead author on the study.

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