Low doses of drug could boost cancer-killing virus therapy

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

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:


Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.


Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...



© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)