CINCINNATI Researchers in a multi-institutional study led by Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center slowed the growth of two particularly stubborn solid tumor cancers neuroblastoma and peripheral nerve sheath tumors without harming healthy tissues by inserting instructions to inhibit tissue growth into an engineered virus, according to study results published in the February 15 Cancer Research.
Malignant solid tumors are still very difficult to treat effectively, especially without causing harm to normal tissues, so we need to find innovative therapeutic approaches, said Timothy Cripe, M.D., Ph.D., a physician and researcher at Cincinnati Childrens. In our study, this tumor-targeting viral therapy enhanced anti-tumor activity by stimulating multiple biological processes, including directly killing the cancer cells and reducing the formation of blood vessels that fed the tumors. These data support continuing development and study of our tumor-targeted viral therapy to fight cancer.
Previous research has documented that oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) and similar viruses can infect and kill human cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells or causing disease. In their study, Dr. Cripe and his colleagues genetically armed oHSV with a gene that carries instructions for a cancer-fighting protein, human tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3). TIMP3 blocks enzymes that aid the development and progression of cancer, called matrix of metalloproteinases (MMP). Specifically, MMPs help break down molecules that are important for the structural support and normal development of cells, organs and maintenance of tissues. When MMP activity becomes unbalanced, the enzyme plays a well-documented role in the formation of invasive and metastatic cancers, including pediatric neuroblastoma, the most common solid cancer tumor in childhood.
Researchers dubbed the tumor-targeted viral therapy created by combining of TIMP and oHS
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Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center