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

MR spectroscopy imaging reveals effects of targeted treatment of mutant IDH1 gliomas

May 18, 2018
Using a novel imaging method, a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) research team is investigating the mechanisms behind a potential targeted treatment for a subtype of the deadly brains tumors called gliomas. In their report ...

Particle shows promise to prevent the spread of triple-negative breast cancer

May 18, 2018
USC researchers have pinpointed a remedy to prevent the spread of triple-negative breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer is a leading cause of death for women. The findings appear today in Nature Communications.

Dilemma for cancer patients as life-saving meds are tied to vision loss

May 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—A newer type of cancer treatment may offer the chance of longer survival, but the drugs could also trigger new side effects, such as vision problems.

Polygenic scores to classify cancer risk

May 18, 2018
Polygenic risk scores could be useful to stratify the risk of several cancers among patients in medical centers, allowing for the potential discovery of new associations between genes, disease and secondary effects, according ...

A way to prevent pancreatic cancer from spreading post-surgery?

May 17, 2018
Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) have solved a mystery about how pancreatic cancer spreads following surgery in patients whose tumor is successfully removed. After surgery, patients' typically experience ...

Erectile dysfunction drugs and flu vaccine may work together to help immune system fight cancer after surgery

May 17, 2018
A new study suggests that a common treatment for erectile dysfunction combined with the flu vaccine may be able to help the immune system mop up cancer cells left behind after surgery. The study, published in OncoImmunology, ...

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.