Navigation Links
Researchers Train the Immune System to Deliver Virus That Destroys Cancer in Lab Models

Procedure also could prevent recurrence

ROCHESTER, Minn., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An international team of researchers led by Mayo Clinic have designed a technique that uses the body's own cells and a virus to destroy cancer cells that spread from primary tumors to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system. In addition, their study shows that this technology could be the basis for a new cancer vaccine to prevent cancer recurrence.

The study appeared in the Dec. 9 online issue of Nature Medicine.

The technology combines infection-fighting T-cells with the vesicular stomatitis virus that targets and destroys cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. The study, which has not yet been replicated in humans, is significant because it describes a potential new therapy to treat and prevent the spread of cancer in patients.

"We hope to translate these results into clinical trials. However, until those trials are done, it's difficult to be certain that what we see in mouse models will clearly translate to humans. We're hopeful that will be the case," says Richard Vile, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic specialist in molecular medicine and immunology and the study's principal investigator.

In primary cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, head and neck and skin, the growth of secondary tumors often pose the most threat to patients, not the primary tumor. The prognosis for these patients often depends upon the degree of lymph node involvement and whether the cancer has spread.

Dr. Vile and colleagues theorized that they could control the spread of cancer through the lymphatic system (bone marrow, spleen, thymus and lymph nodes) by manipulating the immune system.

Researchers zeroed in on immature T-cells from bone marrow, programming them to respond to specific threats to the immune system while delivering a cancer-destroying virus to the tumor cells.

To deliver the virus, researchers removed T-cells from a healthy mouse, loaded them with the virus and injected the T-cells back into the mouse. Researchers found that once the T-cells returned to the lymph nodes and spleen, the virus detached itself from the T-cells, found the tumor cells, selectively replicated within them and extracted tumor cells from those areas.


The procedure used in this study triggered an immune response to cancer cells, which means that it could be used as a cancer vaccine to prevent recurrence.

"We show that if you kill tumor cells directly in the tumor itself, you can get a weak immunity against the tumor, but if you use this virus to kill tumor cells in the lymph nodes, you get a higher immunity against the tumor," Dr. Vile says.


The technique used in this study successfully treated the cells of three different diseases: melanoma, lung cancer and colorectal cancer. The results include:

-- Two days after treatment, the presence of melanoma tumor cells in lymph nodes was significantly less, but not completely gone. There were no cancer cells in the spleen.

-- Ten-to-14 days after a T-cell transfer, both the lymph nodes and spleen were free of melanoma tumor cells.

-- Mice treated with a single dose of the T-cells transfer developed a potent T-cell response against melanoma tumor cells.

-- Although the procedure was not intended to treat the primary melanoma tumor, significant reductions in tumor cells were observed.

-- In mice with lung cancer metastasis, cancer cells were significantly reduced in one-third of mice and completely eradicated in two-thirds of mice. Efforts to clear metastases from colorectal tumors were similarly effective.

-- Lung and colorectal tumor cells were purged from lymph nodes. Also, the spleens of mice that had lung cancer developed immunity to the cancer after the treatment.

The technology already exists to extract T-cells from patients, attach the virus and inject the cells back into the patients. Doctors currently use a similar process to attach radioactive tracers to T-cells when trying to find the source of an infection in patients.

"This is technology that is relatively easy to translate to humans because it involves taking T-cells from the patient -- something routinely done today -- loading them with this virus and then putting those

T-cells back into patients whose cancer has spread to lymph nodes, are at high risk of the cancer spreading to other parts of the body or are at high risk of succumbing to the cancer," Dr. Vile says.

Other authors of the study include: Jian Qiao, M.D., Ph.D.; Timothy Kottke; Candice Willmon, Ph.D.; Feorillo Galivo; Phonphimon Wongthida; Rosa Maria Diaz, Ph.D.; Jill Thompson and Pamela Ryno of the Molecular Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic; Glen Barber of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine; John Chester, Peter Selby and Alan Melcher of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Centre, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds, U.K.; and, Kevin Harrington, The Institute of Cancer Research, London.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health and Mayo Clinic.

To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to ( is available as a resource for your health stories. For more on Mayo Clinic research, go to

SOURCE Mayo Clinic
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic Identify Site of Dysfunction in HDL, Carrier of Good Cholesterol
2. Cleveland Clinic Researchers Identify Mechanism Behind Platelet Function and Potentially Fatal Blood Clot Formation
3. Researchers Identify Virus Possibly Responsible for Declining Honeybee Population Using 454 Sequencing Technology from Roche
4. Peregrine Researchers Report Data Showing Bavituximabs Potential to Shrink Human Prostate Tumors in Model of Relapsed Disease
5. K-State Researchers Bringing Expertise to Kansas City Symposium on Disease and National Security
6. U. of Md. Researchers to Develop Devices to Revolutionize Drug Research
7. 454 Sequencing(TM) in Science Today: Researchers Uncover a Genetic Basis for Different Social Behaviors in Wasps
8. Researchers Report First Successful Treatment of Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury
9. Potential Breakthrough Cancer Treatment Emerges from MIPS-Funded Clinical Trial Teaming CSA Medical Inc. and University of Maryland Researchers
10. Researchers Develop New Procedure to Screen All 46 Human Chromosomes to Identify Abnormalities in Embryos
11. Oritavancin Demonstrates Potent and Rapid In Vitro Activity Against MRSA, VRE and Other Strains of Resistant Bacteria
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... SYDNEY , Nov. 26, 2015  The total global ... nearly 7% over 2015-2016. Latin America ... Asia , (excluding Japan ), is ... continues to face increased healthcare expenditure. In 2013-2014, ... expenditure declined from 43.5% in 2008-2009 to 41.2% in 2013-2014. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015 On Tuesday, November ... bellwether trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for ... Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded $11 million ... two week trial and three days of deliberations, ... device was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV ), ... Chief Executive Officer Antonius Schuh, Ph.D., is scheduled to ... Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare Conference. th ... Palace Hotel in New York ... Mr. Schuh will be available for one-on-one meetings during ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Ministers, senior government and UN ... African Centres of Excellence, and public R&D institutions, civil societies and other partners ... the 5th African Network for Drugs and Diagnostics Innovation, ANDI, Stakeholders Meeting. The ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... According to an ... robot is being more and more widely heralded as a breakthrough for performing hernia ... method has over traditional laparoscopic surgery is that it can greatly reduce the pain ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 2015 , ... On November 25, 2015, officials of Narconon Arrowhead , ... release of a new cutting edge recovery program that has been 50 years in ... and alcohol-addicted individuals with the purpose to free addicts from the symptoms and negative ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... On November 23rd 2015 Cozy Products, a division of Bird-X ... Products explains what this means for business moving forward. , The Tri Lite heater ... model: to sell personal heaters that reduce energy consumption, are economical and keep people ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Beddit® has ... Beddit Classic sleep tracking systems. The new app features a more intuitive SleepScoreā„¢ that ... understand how well you slept. The SleepScore is created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):