Saturday, November 19, 2016

New viral therapy shows promise in treating primary liver cancer

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CANCER DIGEST – Nov. 19, 2016 – A virus that causes childhood coughs and colds could help in the fight against primary liver cancer, according to a study published in the journal Gut.

The research team, at Leeds University, Leeds, UK,  found that Reovirus was successful in treating both liver cancer cells grown in the laboratory and those taken directly from patients undergoing surgery for primary liver cancer.
In addition, they found Reovirus killed hepatitis C virus, which is known as a cause of liver cancer. Primary liver cancer starts in the liver, as opposed to having started in some other part of the body before traveling to the liver.
When introduced into the body, Reovirus stimulates an immune system factor known as interferon, which in turn causes the activation of a specific white blood cell called a Natural Killer cell. These Natural Killer cells then kill both the tumor, and cells infected with the hepatitis C virus.
While this finding was done in cells in the laboratory and in mice, the researchers are now hoping to start the first in-human clinical trials.

Study co-leader Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor of Viral Oncology at the University of Leeds, said in a press release, “Ultimately we hope that by simultaneously treating the tumor, and the hepatitis virus that is driving the growth of the tumor, we may provide a more effective therapy and improve the outcomes for patients."

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