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Thread: Novel Viral Therapy May Benefit Cancer Patients

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    Novel Viral Therapy May Benefit Cancer Patients

    http://www.doctorslounge.com/index.php/news/pb/22805

    Novel Viral Therapy May Benefit Cancer Patients
    Last Updated: September 01, 2011

    A novel, intravenously-delivered viral therapy appears to selectively infect and replicate in tumor cells without invading and harming healthy tissue in individuals with advanced cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in Nature.

    THURSDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A novel, intravenously-delivered viral therapy appears to selectively infect and replicate in tumor cells without invading and harming healthy tissue in individuals with advanced cancer, according to a study published online Aug. 31 in Nature.

    Caroline J. Breitbach, Ph.D., of Jennerex Inc. in San Francisco, and colleagues administered a single intravenous infusion of a virus called JX-594, at one of five dose levels, in 23 patients with advanced cancers that had metastasized to multiple organs and failed to respond to standard treatments. Biopsies were obtained eight to 10 days later.

    The investigators found that seven of eight patients (87 percent) who received the two highest dose levels showed evidence of viral replication in their tumor, without impact on normal tissue. All these patients demonstrated tumor-selective expression of a foreign gene that was engineered into the virus to help with detection. The virus was well tolerated at all dose levels. The most common adverse events were influenza-like symptoms that lasted for less than 24 hours.

    "We are very excited because this is the first time in medical history that a viral therapy has been shown to consistently and selectively replicate in cancer tissue after intravenous infusion in humans," co-author John Bell, Ph.D., of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa, said in a statement. "Intravenous delivery is crucial for cancer treatment because it allows us to target tumors throughout the body as opposed to just those that we can directly inject. The study is also important because it shows that we can use this approach to selectively express foreign genes in tumors, opening the door to a whole new suite of targeted cancer therapies."

    The study was funded by Jennerex Inc.; two authors disclosed financial relationships Jennerex.


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    Very exciting stuff


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    Here is the Abstract

    Intravenous delivery of a multi-mechanistic cancer-targeted oncolytic poxvirus in humans

    The efficacy and safety of biological molecules in cancer therapy, such as peptides and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), could be markedly increased if high concentrations could be achieved and amplified selectively in tumour tissues versus normal tissues after intravenous administration. This has not been achievable so far in humans. We hypothesized that a poxvirus, which evolved for blood-borne systemic spread in mammals, could be engineered for cancer-selective replication and used as a vehicle for the intravenous delivery and expression of transgenes in tumours. JX-594 is an oncolytic poxvirus engineered for replication, transgene expression and amplification in cancer cells harbouring activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)/Ras pathway, followed by cell lysis and anticancer immunity1. Here we show in a clinical trial that JX-594 selectively infects, replicates and expresses transgene products in cancer tissue after intravenous infusion, in a dose-related fashion. Normal tissues were not affected clinically. This platform technology opens up the possibility of multifunctional products that selectively express high concentrations of several complementary therapeutic and imaging molecules in metastatic solid tumours in humans.


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