The advances in biological therapies are on the rise over the years. They have made remarkable clinical responses for treatment of cancers. Oncolytic virotherapy is one of the promising novel strategies for cancer therapy. This technique involves targeting malignant cells with specialized viruses that can kill cancer cells and at the same time, ignoring healthy tissues.
Oncolytic Virotherapy involves administrating an oncolytic virus which works to break down the cancer cells. The most appealing part is that it does not harm healthy self cells. This therapy may be administrated alone or in conjunction with other common therapies such as radiation or chemotherapy.
Biodesign researchers have published a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The myxoma virus was used to treat small-cell lung cancer in a genetically engineered mouse model. Myxoma Virus shows high efficiency for tumor-specific cytotoxicity in small cell lung cancer. A complete understanding of myxoma’s lethal affinity for cancer is required and much additional research into the virus cancer-terminating nature is also needed.
Biodesign researchers Masmudur Rahman, an associate research professor for the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy, and Grant McFadden, the center director and a professor in the School of Life Sciences, collaborated with University of Florida to tackle this project. The researchers also combined myxoma virus with standard drug used to treat SCLC. This further increased the survival rate among the patients and the overall immune response to the tumor.
This study revealed that myxoma virus is capable of inducing immune cell infiltration and also yields less toxicity.
Though researchers were able to reinforce the validity of oncolytic virotherapies but there are more studies that need to be done. These studies are being conducted in the hope that such therapies could one day mediate cancer among human beings.
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