With malignant mesothelioma inflicting suffering to those exposed to asbestos across the globe, the search for innovative treatment options is key.
Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer caused when inhaled asbestos fibers lodge in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart.
Researchers working at the National Cancer Institute of Naples, the University of Naples ‘Federico II’, the University of Siena, and the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have initiated a research to establish of whether virotherapy could be used in the battle against Malignant Mesothelioma.
Virotherapy is one of the most exciting areas of study in the fight against malignant mesothelioma.
Virotherapy is the use of viruses to fight the rare form of cancer at the cellular level.
It involves using biotechnology to convert viruses into therapeutic agents by reprogramming viruses to treat diseases.
The viruses are injected directly into the tumor to avoid any potential adverse effects of introducing the viruses into the bloodstream and risking the health of other cells in the body.
Through the Frontiers in Oncology medical journal, the researchers expounded that they have identified a specific type of virus known as an adenovirus as being most effective for their purpose: adenoviruses are among the most common types of viruses used in oncolytic studies mainly because they can easily be engineered to infect and multiply within cancer cells.
The study proved that by using the adenovirus dl922-945, they were able to infect the mesothelioma cells and at the same time cause the cells’ death, effectively acting as a vaccine against mesothelioma. Apart from killing the cells, dl922-947 also acted to stop the mesothelioma tumor cells from generating the factors that lead to further tumor growth.
Commenting on the study, co-first author Sarah DiSoma of the University of Naples said dl922-947 treatment proved effective also in vivo, inhibiting the growth of mesothelioma xenografts, leading to complete tumor shrinkage in some mice and reducing the formation of intratumoral microvessels.
“The next step will consist in assessing the potential of virotherapy in combination with the recently developed immune targeted therapies and translate these approaches to the clinical practice upon rigorous clinical trial testing,” said Francesca Pentimalli, co-lead author from the National Cancer Institute of Naples