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Reuters Health Information (2005-04-07): Oncolytic virus treats colorectal liver metastases in animal model


Oncolytic virus treats colorectal liver metastases in animal model

Last Updated: 2005-04-07 15:49:06 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Hepatic arterial infusion of oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in a rat model of colorectal cancer with multifocal hepatic metastases significantly improves survival, researchers report in the April 20th issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

"Viruses that specifically replicate in and kill cancerous, but not normal, cells are being developed as a novel class of therapeutic agents to treat cancer," senior investigator Dr. Savio L. C. Woo told Reuters Health

Dr. Woo and colleagues at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York report that VSV "can reach and replicate efficiently in multifocal lesions of colorectal cancer in the liver of rats after vascular delivery, which led to substantial tumor necrosis and prolongation of survival."

Control animals began to die of tumor progression in as little as 9 days and all of these animals had died within 19 days. However, VSV-treated animals survived for up to 24 days. No vector-associated toxicities were observed and there was no apparent damage to the hepatic parenchyma.

"With additional improvements on the tumor-killing potential of the virus through molecular engineering," Dr. Woo concluded, "the virus can be developed as an effective and safe agent to treat colorectal as well as other cancers that have spread to the liver, where prognosis is usually poor."

Int J Cancer 2005;114:659-664.

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