Their research shows that viruses designed to kill cancer cells – oncolytic viruses – might be more effective against aggressive brain tumors if they also carry a gene for a protein that inhibits blood-vessel growth.
The protein, called vasculostatin, is normally produced in the brain. In this study, an oncolytic virus containing the gene for this protein in some cases eliminated human glioblastoma tumors growing in animals and significantly slowed tumor recurrence in others. Glioblastomas, which characteristically have a high number of blood vessels, are the most common and devastating form of human brain cancer. People diagnosed with these tumors survive less than 15 months on average after diagnosis.
"This is the first study to report the effects of vasculostatin delivery into established tumors, and it supports further development of this novel virus as a possible cancer treatment," says study leader Balveen Kaur, associate professor of neurological surgery and a researcher with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. "Our findings suggest that this oncolytic virus is a safe and promising strategy to pursue for the treatment of human brain tumors.
"This study shows the potential of combining an oncolytic virus with a natural blood-vessel growth inhibitor such as vasculostatin. Future studies will reveal the potential for safety and efficacy when used in combination with chemotherapy and radiation therapy," she says.
The findings were recently published online in the journal Molecular Therapy.
Jayson Hardcastle, a graduate student in Dr. Kaur's laboratory, injected the cancer-killing virus, called RAMBO (for Rapid Antiangiogenesis Mediated By Oncolytic virus), directly into human glioblastoma tumors growing either under the skin or in the brains of mice.
Of six animals with tumors under the skin, those treated with RAMBO survived an average of 54 days. In addition, three of the RAMBO mice were tumor-free at the end of the experiment. Control animals treated with a similar virus that lacked the vasculostatin gene, on the other hand, survived an average of 26 days and none were tumor-free.
Of the animals with a human glioblastoma in the brain, five were treated with RAMBO and lived an average of 54 days. One animal remained tumor-free for more than 120 days. Control animals, by comparison, lived an average of 26 days with no long-term survivors.
In another experiment, the investigators followed the course of tumor changes in animals with tumors in the brain. After an initial period of tumor shrinkage, the remaining cancer cells began regrowing around day 13 in animals given the virus that lacked the blood-vessel inhibitor. In animals treated with RAMBO, tumor regrowth didn't begin until about day 39.
"With additional research, this virus could lead to a new therapeutic strategy for combating cancer," Kaur says.
Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy