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!
Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
Study overturns seminal research about the developing nervous system
21.04.2017 | University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
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...
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...
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...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy