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 Mass spectrometry sheds new light on thallium poisoning cold case
14.12.2018 | University of Maryland

nachricht Protein involved in nematode stress response identified
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>