Discovery means individualized ovarian, brain cancer therapies

May 16, 2018, Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that a molecular communication pathway—thought to be defective in cancer—is a key player in determining the effectiveness of measles virus oncolytic cancer treatment in ovarian and aggressive brain cancers. This discovery enabled researchers to develop an algorithm to predict treatment effectiveness in individual patients. The findings appear in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"This discovery and algorithm will allow us to personalize treatment by matching the most appropriate patients with oncolytic virus therapies," says Evanthia Galanis, M.D., senior author of the study. "We'll also know which ones can be helped by combining cancer virotherapy with other immune approaches.

This activation channel, known as the interferon response pathway, had been considered defective in cancer cells. Not so, according to the research team. They performed tests for gene variants and signatures that would identify pathways that resisted the effectiveness of the virus-based treatments that Mayo Clinic has long been developing.

The researchers tested their algorithm on human ovarian and brain tumors transplanted into mice and patients in phase one clinical trials. What they found is a weighted gene signature that could predict treatment sensitivity and resistance. Subsequent research also showed that repurposing ruxolitinib, a drug approved to treat malignant blood disorders, was able to overcome the resistance. This drug, which targets the interferon response pathway, allows the measles virotherapy to increase effectiveness by a factor of 1,000.

The researchers say these findings will help select patients for future involving and shape how those viruses are designed and used in medicine, including the development of effective combination therapies.

Explore further: Combining immunotherapies effective against mouse model of cancer

Related Stories

Combining immunotherapies effective against mouse model of cancer

June 19, 2017
Rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer made up of cells that normally develop into skeletal muscles, is the most common soft tissue cancer in children. If it is detected early and localized in certain areas, rhabdomyosarcoma is usually ...

Clinical trial uses a genetically engineered virus to fight cancer

August 15, 2017
Sanford Health is the first site in the United States to launch a clinical trial using a genetically-engineered virus that aims to destroy therapy-resistant tumors.

Low dose of targeted drug might improve cancer-killing virus therapy

June 16, 2014
Giving low doses of a particular targeted agent with a cancer-killing virus might improve the effectiveness of the virus as a treatment for cancer, according to a study led by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive ...

Could viruses take cancer immunotherapy to the next level?

January 3, 2018
Immunotherapy, which helps the body's immune system attack cancer, has revolutionized treatment for cancers such as melanoma and leukemia. However, many other kinds of cancer remain resistant. A new study led by researchers ...

Recommended for you

Two studies describe improved approach to bone marrow transplant

September 25, 2018
Two recent studies in the journal Leukemia present a new approach for bone marrow donation and transplant that preclinical laboratory tests suggest could make the life-saving procedure safer and more effective for patients.

Brigatinib becomes potential new first-line option for ALK-positive non-small lung cancer

September 25, 2018
Results of a 275-patient, multi-national phase III clinical trial known as ALTA-1L published today in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented concurrently in the press program at the International Association for ...

Combo therapy of prostatectomy plus radiotherapy may improve survival in prostate cancer

September 25, 2018
High-risk prostate cancer, that which has continued to grow but not yet metastasized, is commonly treated with combination therapies. Each method has pros and cons, but there is little clarity whether one might be more effective ...

A protein called vaccinia-related kinase 1 may help cancer establish itself in new areas of the body during metastasis

September 25, 2018
Sometimes negative results can point researchers in the right direction.

Method identified to reduce risk of brain damage in leukemia survivors

September 25, 2018
Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are at an extremely high risk of sepsis compared to the general population. In the first-published study of its kind, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have ...

Unhealthy lifestyle responsible for 45,000 predicted cases of bowel cancer in next decade

September 25, 2018
A UNSW study shows that a large proportion of bowel cancers in Australia are preventable by adopting a healthy lifestyle – particularly for men.

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.