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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Targeting Triple Negative Breast Cancer with Herpes Virus

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 10:55 AM Comments

Triple negative negative breast cancer (TNBC) treatment has limited options, in the sense that hormonal manipulation can not be achieved here as those lack the protein for targeting.
Researchers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City suggest that triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) might respond to treatment with an oncolytic agent. The findings were reported at the American College of Surgeons 97th Annual Clinical Congress.
They found that [ the genetically modified herpes virus] NV1066 is an effective oncolytic agent against triple-negative breast cancer.
 A simplified diagram of HSV replicationImage via Wikipedia; Herpes Virus Replication
Since sometime it has been seen that some viruses home in certain tumor cores best suited for their replication. Those viruses effectively target the tumor tissue and not the normal tissue. So those can be used as vector to deliver drugs precisely in the tumor and achieve tumor death.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway is known to be important in TNBC, and activated (phosphorylated) MAPK signaling has been shown to mediate efficient replication of NV1066 through the deletion of the delta gamma(1)34.5 gene.
TNBC cells have high levels of phosphorylated MAPK, a protein that promotes tumor growth and contributes to resistance to current therapies. The herpes virus specifically targets cells that over express this protein.
Dr. Gholami and colleagues infected 5 different TNBC cell lines with the NV1066 herpes simplex virus. After treatment with the virus, the most sensitive cell lines demonstrated a 90% cell kill rate within 1 week; the less sensitive lines demonstrated a 70% cell kill rate.
In addition, sensitive cell lines expressed higher baseline levels of phosphorylated MAPK than resistant cell lines, and viral infection caused the down regulation of phosphorylated MAPK by 48 hours, she reported.
Oncolytic viruses are being studied in head and neck cancers, but this study is the first to show promise in TNBC. If additional animal studies are also positive, human clinical trials are expected.
The questioned remains, whether the use of an oncolytic virus can produce an immune response in the host needs to be addressed.
Read more about TNBC;
Lower vitamin D associated with breast cancer
Ways to target TNBC

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