Researchers in Philadelphia have found a ground breaking method of fighting cancer. Their research has brought them to be able to trigger the Epstein-Barr viruses// inside tumors. This will help them identify patients whose infections can then be manipulated to destroy their tumors. It is believed that this strategy could actually offer a novel way of treating several kinds of cancers associated with Epstein-Barr. Some of these also include at least four different types of lymphoma, nasopharyngeal and gastric cancers.
In the March 1 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a team of radiologists and oncologists from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions describe how they used two agents already on the market − one of which is the multiple myeloma drug Velcade − to light up tumor viruses on a gamma camera. The technique is the first in the new field of in vivo molecular-genetic imaging that doesn't require transfecting tumors with a "reporter" gene, the scientists say.
"The beauty of this is that you don't have to introduce any reporter genes into the tumor because they are already there," says radiologist Martin G. Pomper, M.D., Ph.D. "This is the only example we know of where it is possible to image activated endogenous gene expression without having to transfect cells."
A variety of blood and solid cancers are more likely to occur in people who have been infected with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), but not everyone with these cancers has such infections. For those who do, researchers, such as Hopkins oncologist and co-author Richard F. Ambinder, M.D., Ph.D., have been working on ways to activate the reproductive, or "lytic" cycle, within the virus to make it replicate within the tumor cell. When enough viral particles are produced, the tumor will burst, releasing the virus. In animal experiments, this experimental therapy, called lytic induction therapy, results in tumor death.
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