Viruses designed to kill cancer cells offer a safe way to treat these tumors, but the therapy doesn't work as well as expected.
This study found that a patient's immune system tries to eliminate the anticancer virus and blocking this immune activity gave the virus more time to kill cancer cells.Doctors now use cancer-killing viruses to treat some patients with lethal, fast-growing brain tumors. Clinical trials show that these therapeutic viruses are safe but less effective than expected.
Replication of the therapeutic virus in tumor cells in an animal model rapidly attracted subsets of NK cells to the tumor site;
NK cells in tumors activated other immune cells (i.e., macrophages and microglia) that have both antiviral and anticancer properties;
Depletion of NK cells improves the survival of tumor-bearing mice treated with the therapeutic virus;
NK cells that destroy virus-infected tumor cells express the NKp30 and NKp46 receptors molecules that recognize the virus."Once we identify the molecules on glioblastoma cells that these NK cell receptors bind with, we might be able to use them to identify patients who will be sensitive to this therapy," Caligiuri says.
Funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health/NINDS (grant NS061811), NCI (grants CA069246, CA68458, CA98472, and the National Center for Research Resources (grant RR025753), an American Medical Association Foundation Seed Grant, the Dardinger Neuro-oncology Laboratory and Pelotonia supported this research.
Darrell E. Ward | EurekAlert!
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