RigVirThe Mysterious Relationship of Viruses and Cancer

Medical science now knows that at least six human viruses contribute to 10-15% of the cancers worldwide. These viruses are Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human papilloma virus (HPV), human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV-1) and Kaposi’s associated sarcoma virus (KSHV).  Even more viruses have statistical risk relationships with cancer. Ironically, though, many other viruses are known to preferentially infect and kill cancer cells, a phenomenon called the oncolytic effect.

A number of viruses including adenovirus (common cold), reovirus, measles, herpes simplex, Newcastle virus, and the rabies virus have been laboratory tested as oncolytic agents. Some have been genetically engineered in an attempt to remove their infectious disease ability, while enhancing the oncolytic cancer killing ability. One such engineered virus made it through clinical trials in China and was approved for treatment of head and neck squamous cell cancer in 2005 by the Chinese SFDA.  This engineered virus was a form of adenovirus, which proved to be ideal for testing as the low risk pathogen is responsible for the common cold. However, some ongoing human clinical trials in the USA and other countries have taken a very risky approach of attempting to engineer very dangerous viruses like rabies and measles to treat certain cancers.  When these engineered viruses back mutate into a wild pathogen after treating people, the results could be catastrophic.

What is not known is to what extent viruses can help in preventing cancer. I have been involved in researching this topic for eight years through Gendicine and one year through RigVir. As a result, I have some great news.

At least one non-pathogenic virus family has been identified as having oncolytic abilities. This virus was continuously studied for the past 47 years in Latvia.  The virus is called Riga Virus or RigVir.  Strains of this echovirus are found in the intestine of children, and as people age, the virus can disappear from the intestinal flora.  Now that the virus has been studied for almost a human lifetime, it seems that RigVir may have a protective benefit for humans as an immune primer to protect us from cancer.  When we lose this intestinal virus, we may have an increased risk for certain cancers.  Still, much more research is needed to answer this hypothesis about the protective role of RigVir.

The good news is that the science team at the virology centre in Riga, Latvia, through dedicated research and clinical trials, obtained an approval license for RigVir to be used in the treatment of certain human cancers specifically melanoma cancer in Latvia in 2004. Practical application of this treatment commenced in 2008 with the establishment of the International Virotheraphy Center. Additionally, in March 2015, RigVir was successfully registered in the country of Georgia.


Laboratory research has demonstrated that RigVir is oncolytic on many common cancers, and clinical trials are underway to expand the official list of cancers RigVir is licensed for treating.

RigVir is not known to cause any human disease. It has never mutated in the 40 years it has been used to treat cancer and it is not genetically engineered.  Thus, the risk of this friendly “pro-virus” causing harm or disease is near zero.  For some people living with cancer it could be an important factor when used with standard treatment options in controlling the cancer in their body.

Dr. Bethel is the only doctor who has clinical experience treating cancer with the only two licensed virotherapies in the world, Gendicine (Engineered Adenovirus), and RigVir (Natural ECHOvirus).  Currently, Dr. Bethel is only doing virotherapy research with RigVir.


  • Full scientific references and information on RigVir for cancer can be obtained found here.
  • Further information on Gendicine can be obtained from the International Virotherapy Center here.
  • For more information about Dr. Bethel’s ViroTherapy programs and treatment with RigVir or Gendicine please contact us HERE.