Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Virginia Tech study finds virus promising for prostate cancer treatment

09.04.2013
A study at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has identified a chicken-killing virus as a promising treatment for prostate cancer in humans.

Researchers have discovered that a genetically engineered Newcastle disease virus, which harms chickens but not humans, kills prostate cancer cells of all kinds, including hormone-resistant cancer cells.

The work of Dr. Elankumaran Subbiah, associate professor of virology in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology, along with Dr. Siba Samal, associate dean and chairman of the University of Maryland’s Department of Veterinary Medicine, and Shobana Raghunath, a graduate student in Subbiah’s laboratory, appears in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Virology.

“This potential treatment is available for immediate pre-clinical and clinical trials, but these are typically not done at the university level,” Subbiah said. “We are looking for commercial entities that are interested in licensing the technology for human clinical trials and treatment. Newcastle disease virus has yet to be tested as a treatment for prostate cancer in patients.”

About one in six men will develop prostate cancer. Patients typically receive hormone treatments or chemotherapy, both of which have adverse side effects. Subbiah hopes that the development of new treatment methodologies will not only better fight prostate cancer, but also lessen the side effects commonly associated with hormone treatments and chemotherapy.

Newcastle disease virus affects domestic and wild bird species, especially chickens, and is one of the most economically important viruses to the poultry industry. Although it can cause mild conjunctivitis and flu-like symptoms in humans who have been in close contact with infected birds, it does not pose a threat to human health.

Scientists first documented the cancer-fighting properties of Newcastle disease virus in the 1950s, but it is only with recent advances in reverse genetics technology that they have turned to the genetically engineered virus as a possible treatment.

“We modified the virus so that it replicates only in the presence of an active prostate-specific antigen and, therefore, is highly specific to prostate cancer. We also tested its efficacy in a tumor model in vitro,” Subbiah said. “The recombinant virus efficiently and specifically killed prostate cancer cells, while sparing normal human cells in the laboratory, but it would take time for this to move from the discovery phase to a treatment for prostate cancer patients.”

Earlier human clinical trials for other types of cancer with naturally occurring strains of Newcastle disease virus required several injections of the virus in large quantities for success. Subbiah believes that the recombinant virus would be able to eradicate prostate cancer in much lower doses. It would also seek out metastatic prostate cancer cells and remove them. Because it is cancer cell-type specific, “the recombinant virus will be extremely safe and can be injected intravenously or directly into the tumor,” Subbiah added.

Subbiah received a $113,000 concept award from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop his prostate cancer treatment under a Congressionally-directed medical research program. He is seeking additional foundation and corporate funds to take his research to the next level.

The researchers have also received a National Institutes of Health exploratory grant to develop the cell type-specific Newcastle disease virus for several other types of cancer cells, including breast, pancreas, brain, prostate, and multiple myeloma. “Although the virus can potentially treat many different types of cancer, we are focusing on these five,” Subbiah said.

The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine is a leading biomedical and clinical research center, enrolling more than 500 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and graduate students. A three-campus professional school, the college is operated by the land-grant universities of Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland. Its main campus in Blacksburg, Va., features the Veterinary Teaching Hospital where more than 55,000 animals are treated annually. Other campuses include the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., and the Gudelsky Veterinary Center in College Park, Md., home of the Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine.

This article was written by Michael Sutphin.

Sherrie Whaley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht 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

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

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...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

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...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

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,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

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...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>