Navigation Links
Viral 'magic bullet' targets cancer cells with help of new compound
Date:9/16/2008

This press release is available in French.

Researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Lady Davis Research Institute of the Jewish General Hospital along with colleagues at the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Health Research Institute (OHRI) report a significant breakthrough in the use of viruses to target and destroy cancer cells, a field known as oncolytic virotherapy. Their results were published in the September early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

The research team, led by Dr. John Hiscott of McGill's Faculty of Medicine and the Lady Davis Institute, along with Dr. John C. Bell and colleagues at the University of Ottawa and OHRI, have discovered that a family of compounds called histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs) may be the missing link that turns oncolytic viruses into a potent new weapon against cancer. Their research program is supported by the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium, which is funded by the National Cancer Institute of Canada (NCIC) and the Terry Fox Foundation.

"One of the greatest challenges in cancer therapy is to target and kill cancer cells that are resistant to conventional therapy," said Dr. Hiscott. "The strategy that we developed is to use a harmless, non-human virus that specifically enters, replicates and kills cancer cells, but not normal cells." However, Dr. Hiscott explained, many primary cancers have proven resistant to a pure virotherapy approach. "One way to overcome this obstacle is to treat the tumor with other molecules that augment the ability of these viruses to target and kill the cancer cells."

Dr. Nanh Nguyen and Dr. Hesham Abdelbary, senior researchers and lead authors in the Hiscott and Bell labs, focused on HDIs, which inhibit specific enzymes involved in modulating the structure of chromosomes in cancer cells. They tested the combination HDI/virotherapy approach in cell culture experiments in the lab, in animal models of cancer, and also in human tissues from breast, prostate and colon cancer immediately after excision from patients.

"Treatment with these compounds dramatically increases the susceptibility of these cancers to killing by the oncolytic virus," Dr. Hiscott said. "The combination dramatically and unexpectedly stimulates the ability of the viruses to target and kill cancer cells."

The researchers utilize a tiny, bullet-shaped insect rhabdovirus known as VSV, chosen specifically for its inability to infect normal human cells. "VSV has been studied by virologists for several decades, and its replication is well understood at the molecular level," Dr. Hiscott said. "It is not a human pathogen, so most individuals do not have antibodies directed against it, which means there is a window of opportunity to successfully treat patients before they mount an immune response."

Dr. Hiscott and his colleagues are enthusiastic that this new approach may lead to the rapid implementation of new experimental therapies for breast, prostate, colon and other primary cancers that are currently resistant to virotherapy.

"Virotherapy is potentially valuable by adding a new biotherapeutic approach to cancer treatment," he said. "Because human trials with similar viruses and with HDIs have already been approved, there is the possibility that the results of these studies might be applied rapidly. We might see human trials within a year or two. These experiments are vital to determine if this 'viral bullet' is actually a 'magic bullet' that hits the intended target."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mark Shainblum
mark.shainblum@mcgill.ca
514-398-2189
McGill University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Viral recombination another way HIV fools the immune system
2. A viral cloaking device
3. Control switches found for immune cells that fight cancer, viral infection
4. Scientists discover DNA knot keeps viral genes tightly corked inside shell
5. Tumor-targeting viral therapy slows neuroblastoma, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors
6. Drug aimed at 2 bioterror agents blocks live viral infection, Weill Cornell team reports
7. Feline virus, antiviral drug studied to understand drug resistance
8. Clearance of hepatitis C viral infection after liver transplantation
9. Genomics of large marine animals showcased in the biological bulletin
10. Emerging field of neuroecology is showcased in December issue of the Biological Bulletin
11. Media invitation: 20th EORTC-NCI-ACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... UAE, April 20, 2016 The ... as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all ... fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration authorization ... access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access ... into the building installations offer considerable freedom of design ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... April 14, 2016 BioCatch ... Detection, today announced the appointment of Eyal Goldwerger ... role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes at a ... of the deployment of its platform at several of ... technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological factors, is ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... R.I. , March 31, 2016  Genomics firm ... of founding CEO, Barrett Bready , M.D., who ... members of the original technical leadership team, including Chief ... President of Product Development, Steve Nurnberg and Vice President ... returned to the company. Dr. Bready served ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory ... technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting ... at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today announced a ... sciences incubator to accelerate the development of new therapies ... QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life science and ... stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner with one ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Cell Applications, Inc. and ... to produce up to one billion human induced ... one week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells enable ... and spend more time doing meaningful, relevant research. ... high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable HiPSC ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... YORK , June 22, 2016  According ... growing next generation sequencing (NGS) market include significant ... of smaller sequencers.  More accessible and affordable sequencers, ... to growing demand for consumables including sample prep ... The Market for Sample Preparation for Next Generation ...
Breaking Biology Technology: