The common cold could one day be used to cure bladder cancer, research suggests.
A study found a strain of the cold virus called coxsackievirus (CVA21) destroys cancerous cells in the organ's inner lining.
The majority of the study's 15 patients showed signs of 'cell death' within their tumours after just one week of treatment.
And one cancer sufferer even had no trace of the disease remaining afterwards, the study showed.
CVA21 infects cancer cells within the bladder, which causes the organ to become inflamed. Immune cells then 'flood in', destroying the tumours.
Researchers believe the treatment, which caused no significant side effects, could 'transform the way we treat cancer'.
The common cold could one day be used to cure bladder cancer, research suggests (stock)
The research was carried out by the University of Surrey and Royal Surrey County Hospital. It was led by Dr Hardev Pandha, professor of medical oncology at the university.
'Coxsackievirus could help revolutionise treatment for this type of cancer,' Dr Pandha said.
'Reduction of tumour burden and increased cancer cell death was observed in all patients, and removed all trace of the disease in one patient following just one week of treatment, showing its potential effectiveness.
'Notably, no significant side effects were observed in any patient.'
The researchers analysed 15 patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) one week before they were due to have their tumours surgically removed.
NMIBC only affects the inner surface of the bladder, with the disease not invading the organ's muscular wall.
It is the 10th most common form of cancer in the UK, with around 10,000 cases being diagnosed every year, the scientists wrote in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.
And in the US, around 80,470 people are expected to develop bladder cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) occurs when the disease only affects the inner lining of the bladder.
The cancerous cells have not yet grown through the lining into the deeper muscle layer of the organ.
NMIBC is the tenth most common form of cancer in the UK, with around 10,000 cases being diagnosed every year, statistics show.
Around 80,470 people in the US are expected to develop bladder cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Statistics show between 70 and 85 per cent of these cases are NMIBC.
If NMIBC becomes advanced, the malignant cells can move into the connective tissue beneath the bladder lining.
A trans urethral resection is typically the go-to treatment for early stages of the disease.
This involves a surgeon removing the tumour via the urethra.
As well as being invasive, cancerous cells re-emerge between 50 and 70 per cent of the time.
Over the next two-to-five years, these cells replicate and become more advanced in 10-to-20 per cent of cases.
If trans urethral resection is ineffective, chemo may be required.