17 June 2014
Combining low doses of a targeted drug with a cancer-killing virus might could improve the effectiveness of the virus as a treatment for cancer, according to a study from The Ohio State University.
Oncolytic viruses - specifically designed to kill cancer cells - have shown promise in clinical trials for the treatment of some solid tumours.
The new research suggests that combining low doses of bortezomib with a particular oncolytic virus could significantly improve the virus’ effectiveness in killing cancerous cells.
Bortezomib inhibits the activity of proteasomes, which are structures in cells that break down and recycle proteins.
Blocking these causes a cellular stress response and increases the expression of heat shock proteins. This reaction can cause the cancerous cells to become resistant to bortezomib, but it also makes them vulnerable to oncolytic viruses.
Dr Balveen Kaur, principal investigator, said: “These findings pave the way for a treatment strategy for cancer that combines low doses of bortezomib with an oncolytic virus to maximize the efficacy of the virus with little added toxicity.
“Because bortezomib is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration, a clinical trial could be done relatively quickly to test the effectiveness of the drug-virus combination.”
Posted by Jeanette Royston
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