The cancer-killing virus has been injected into humans for the first time

  • A recent clinical trial has begun to assess the safety and tolerability of a new therapy that contains a virus that can infect and kill human cancer cells..
  • Novel therapy called Vaxinia can reduce a wide range of cancers in animals and laboratory models in low doses.
  • This new therapy has great promise because it selectively targets cancer cells and has the ability to target a wide range of advanced cancers.

A recent Phase 1 clinical trial administered a dose of an experimental anti-cancer drug called CF33-hNIS or Vaxinia to the first participant in the study. This new therapy involves the use of an oncolytic virus, a type of virus that can infect and kill cancer cells without damaging healthy tissues.

Vaxinia, a genetically modified smallpox virus, has previously been shown to be effective against a wide range of cancers in laboratory and animal models. This clinical trial, conducted by City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment institute in the United States in collaboration with Australian biotechnology company Imugene, tests the novelity of the oncolytic virus in cancer patients with advanced solid tumors.

Laboratory studies show that Vaxinia may be more effective than previous-generation oncolytic viruses in reducing tumor size, making this therapy particularly promising.

Dr. This was announced by the head of the surgery department of the city of Hope Yuman Fong Medical news todayOf particular importance to CF33 / Vaxinia, this virus is targeted at all types of cancer. It is one of the first of a new generation of therapeutic viruses to be more potent than previous viruses and it is more selective for cancer by preserving normal tissues.

This was announced by Leslie Chong, CEO of Imugene MNT“We want to revolutionize cancer therapy and we are not satisfied with the gradual improvement of life, we want to cure patients. By turning cancer into a disease and having a target agent to eradicate it, this is the sacred hill of cancer treatment!”

oncolytic viruses Contains viruses found in nature or genetically engineered to selectively infect and replicate in tumor cells.

When oncolytic viruses replicate, they can break down and kill infected tumor cells. When tumor cells rupture, the immune system releases tumor proteins or antigens that the immune system recognizes as foreign. This triggers an immune response against the antigens, leading to the death of the tumor cells.

The immune system’s ability to recognize tumor cells builds memory against tumor antigens, which helps prevent cancer from recurring. In addition to providing long-term protection, small doses of oncolytic viruses may be effective against tumors due to their ability to replicate and spread the virus in tumor cells.

Cancer cells express proteins and receptors on their surface that are different from healthy cells, which help the immune system to escape, metastasize, and prevent cell death. Oncolytic viruses use proteins and receptors specific to cancer cells to target them.

Dr. “Interestingly, the same characteristics that make cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy or radiation treatment actually increase the success of oncolytic viruses such as CF33-hNIS,” Fong notes.

In addition, because proteins targeted by oncolytic viruses are common for a wide range of cancers, these viruses have become a versatile tool.

CF33-hNIS or Vaxinia, a genetically modified version of the vaccine or smallpox virus developed by researchers in Hope. Researchers have developed CF33-hNIS to increase the ability to replicate in tumor cells, which facilitates a large immune response against tumor cells.

In addition, the modified vaccinia virus also represents a protein called human sodium iodide synthetics (hNIS) that transports iodide ions to cells. Thus, virus-infected tumor cells express hNIS, which allows them to receive radioactive iodine.

Imaging techniques, such as positioning technology (PET) scans, can be used in conjunction with radio-labeled iodine as a dye to help control the spread of the virus in the body and its effectiveness.

In addition, hNIS also helps to select tumor cells that accumulate radioactive iodine using radiotherapy.

Previous studies have shown that CF33-hNIS is effective in cell culture and against breast, colorectal, pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers. In a phase 1 clinical trial, researchers tested the safety and tolerability of CF33-hNIS in cancer patients and injected the virus directly into blood or tumors.

Specifically, the test included about 100 cancer patients with metastatic or advanced malignancies who had previously received treatment for at least two standard cancers.

Once the safety of the vaccine is proven, the researchers will test tumor cells using a combination of this oncolytic virus and another type of cancer therapy called pembrolizumab. an immune checkpoint inhibitor.

In addition to the immune system, cancer cells express certain proteins that prevent them from being destroyed by T cells. Immunosuppressant inhibitors are drugs that block these proteins from increasing the ability of immune cells to kill tumor cells.

the previous date CF33-hNIS suggests that it increases the expression of test protein, which can increase the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab.

“Animal models of oncolytic viruses have already been shown to be as effective as many other immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors and combination therapy with CAR T therapies. We hope so, ”said Dr. Fong.

The researchers also plan to study the effectiveness of this therapy as a second result of a phase 1 test.

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