Engineered virus is effective against triple negative breast cancer cells

January 30, 2014, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Scientists have discovered a potential cure for one of the most aggressive and least treatable forms of breast cancer called "triple negative breast cancer." In laboratory experiments involving human cancer cells, scientists used a virus similar to the one that helped eradicate smallpox to coax cancer cells to produce a protein which makes them susceptible to radioactive iodine. This discovery was published in the February 2014 issue of The FASEB Journal. Please note that human clinical trials are necessary before any definitive claims of a cure can be made and treatments can be made available.

"We hope that the recent advances in virology, genetic engineering and targeted radiotherapy will soon translate into an entire class of novel oncolytic, virotherapies for the treatment of deadly cancers," said Yuman Fong, M.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY.

To make this discovery, Fong and colleagues successfully infected and killed TNBC cells using a vaccinia virus. In addition, the researchers were also able to use the virus to cause infected cancer cells produce a called hNIS that normally is used to concentrate iodine in thyroid cells. The hNIS protein, expressed in thyroid cancer, is why most thyroid cancers can be cured or successfully treated with a small dose of (which kills thyroid expressing hNIS). Armed with the ability to force TNBC cells to produce this protein, researchers now have a way to deliver anticancer therapies to this deadly and resistant form of cancer.

"This is an important and significant discovery that basically combines proven cures for two other diseases," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Even more exciting is that the effects of this virus and radioactive iodine are well known in people, hopefully reducing the amount of time it will take for it to reach the clinic."

Explore further: A form of small pox virus shows potential for treating triple-negative breast cancer

More information: Sepideh Gholami, Chun-Hao Chen, Emil Lou, Laurence J. Belin, Sho Fujisawa, Valerie A. Longo, Nanhai G. Chen, Mithat Gönen, Pat B. Zanzonico, Aladar A. Szalay, and Yuman Fong. Vaccinia virus GLV-1h153 in combination with 131I shows increased efficiency in treating triple-negative breast cancer. FASEB J. February 2014 28:676-682; DOI: 10.1096/fj.13-237222

Related Stories

A form of small pox virus shows potential for treating triple-negative breast cancer

October 1, 2012
Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City have shown that a new vaccinia virus, acting as both an oncolytic and anti-angiogenic agent, can enter and kill triple-negative breast cancer ...

Genetic factors behind radiation-induced thyroid cancer

December 4, 2013
Scientists have long sought to determine whether heredity is one of the factors responsible for increased risk of thyroid cancer, but their results have been inconclusive... until now.

Nexavar approval expanded for common thyroid cancer

November 24, 2013
(HealthDay)—U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the anti-cancer drug Nexavar (sorafenib) has been expanded to include late-stage differentiated thyroid cancer, the most common type of thyroid cancer.

Scientists discover that thyroid cancer cells become less aggressive in outer space

January 30, 2014
For those who think that space exploration offers no tangible benefits for those of us on earth, a new research discovery involving thyroid cancer may prove otherwise. In a new report appearing in the February 2014 issue ...

Newly discovered weakness in cancer cells make them more susceptible to chemotherapy

August 29, 2013
A new weakness has been discovered in cancer cells that may make them more susceptible to chemotherapy and other treatments. In a research report appearing in the September 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists identify ...

Scientists link protein with breast cancer's spread to the brain

January 6, 2014
A cancer-research team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has identified a protein that may be a major culprit when breast cancer metastasizes to the brain.

Recommended for you

T-cells engineered to outsmart tumors induce clinical responses in relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma

January 16, 2018
WASHINGTON-(Jan. 16, 2018)-Tumors have come up with ingenious strategies that enable them to evade detection and destruction by the immune system. So, a research team that includes Children's National Health System clinician-researchers ...

Researchers identify new treatment target for melanoma

January 16, 2018
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous ...

More evidence of link between severe gum disease and cancer risk

January 16, 2018
Data collected during a long-term health study provides additional evidence for a link between increased risk of cancer in individuals with advanced gum disease, according to a new collaborative study led by epidemiologists ...

Researchers develop a remote-controlled cancer immunotherapy system

January 15, 2018
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.

Dietary fat, changes in fat metabolism may promote prostate cancer metastasis

January 15, 2018
Prostate tumors tend to be what scientists call "indolent" - so slow-growing and self-contained that many affected men die with prostate cancer, not of it. But for the percentage of men whose prostate tumors metastasize, ...

Pancreatic tumors may require a one-two-three punch

January 15, 2018
One of the many difficult things about pancreatic cancer is that tumors are resistant to most treatments because of their unique density and cell composition. However, in a new Wilmot Cancer Institute study, scientists discovered ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.