Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Columbia scientists develop cancer terminator viruses

20.09.2005


Results advance quest for viral-based therapies for cancer



Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center continue to make strides in their work to develop the next generation of effective viral-based therapies for cancer. Two papers about promising research with genetically engineered viruses studied in mice, published today in the journals Cancer Research and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), bring us significantly closer to this objective and the start of clinical trials with these viral-based therapies in cancer patients.

Both papers were led by Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., professor of clinical pathology and the Michael and Stella Chernow Urological Cancer Research Scientist at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.


In the Cancer Research paper, the researchers discuss the development of a "terminator" virus, which was administered to mice with pancreatic cancers at both primary and distant sites (akin to metastases). As predicted, when the virus was injected directly into the primary tumor, the virus destroyed not only the primary tumor, but also distant tumors. While the infection caused by the virus was sufficient to kill the primary tumor, a second weapon added to the virus ¡V interferon-gamma (IFN-ƒ×) ¡V eliminated the metastases. IFN-ƒ× elicited an anti-tumor immune response against the distant metastatic cancer cells.

In the PNAS paper, Dr. Fisher and the team describe the production of a virus conceptually similar to the "terminator" virus, which selectively replicates and kills breast cancer cells in mice. Human breast tumor xenografts were established on both sides of immune-deficient mice. Results found that treating the tumors on just one side of the animal with very few injections of this modified virus not only cured the injected tumors, but also resulted in the destruction of the tumors on the opposite side of the animal. Instead of carrying IFN-ƒ× as the other virus did, this virus carried a gene called mda-7/IL-24, a novel gene identified and cloned in Dr. Fisher’s laboratory, which is selectively toxic to cancer cells and is now in phase II clinical trials as a cancer gene therapeutic.

"We are extremely excited about these results and the prospect of one day using a form of the cancer terminator virus in human clinical trials," said Dr. Fisher, the study’s senior author. "While the results of these trials need to be investigated further and replicated in future trials, we believe that viral-based therapies will someday soon be a standard part of the cancer armamentarium."

About the "Terminator" Viruses

The "terminator" viruses have the potential to become effective treatments for a wide range of tumors - such as ovarian, pancreatic, breast, brain (glioma), prostate, skin (melanoma) and colon cancer - because the virus is constructed to exploit a characteristic of all solid cancers. However, clinical trials are necessary before such treatments can be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and available for patients.

These publications are a continuation of research published in the Jan. 25, 2005 issue of PNAS, where the same research team, also led by Dr. Fisher, incorporated gene therapy into a specially designed non-replicating virus to overcome one of the major hurdles of gene therapy: its tendency to kill normal cells in the process of eradicating cancer cells. The virus eradicated prostate cancer cells in the lab and in animals, while leaving normal cells unscathed.

The present cancer "terminator" viruses represent the next generation of therapeutic viruses that permit replication uniquely in cancer cells with simultaneous production of immune modulating and toxic genes. These viruses effectively eliminate primary tumors and distant tumors (metastases) without harming normal cells or tissues.

Dr. Fisher’s cancer research team includes Columbia University Medical Center investigators: Drs. Zao-zhong Su (research scientist), Devanand Sarkar (associate research scientist), Nicolaq Vozhilla (pathology technician), Eun Sook Park (pathology technician) and Pankaj Gupta (associate research scientist). Two scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. are also involved in the research: Mr. Aaron Randolph (graduate student) and Dr. Kristoffer Valerie (professor).

Elizabeth Streich | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.columbia.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>