Hong Kong researchers may have found a way to get around one of the biggest challenges of virotherapy for mesothelioma. Virotherapy uses a modified virus to deliver medicine or genetic information into the body. Modified viruses are useful because they can be “programmed” to seek out cancer cells. But modified viruses do not always behave the way scientists hope they will. One problem with some virotherapy for mesothelioma is that it can block the natural immune response. The body naturally fights malignant mesothelioma by releasing white blood cells called CTLs (T lymphocytes). But MVTT virotherapy can prevent the release of CTLs, even while it attacks the tumor. “Although MVTT [a type of virotherapy] leads to regression of established mesothelioma dose-dependently, … Continue reading Virotherapy for Mesothelioma Can Be More Effective
Researchers in Japan are enrolling mesothelioma patients into a trial to test whether blocking a growth signaling pathway inside mesothelioma cells could slow down this aggressive cancer or even stop its progression. The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met signal pathway is highly active in mesothelioma and many other types of cancer cells, telling them to grow and replicate quickly. In the lab, scientists have shown that the NK4 gene, which shares a molecular structure similar to HGF, can interrupt this signaling pathway and keep cancer cells from growing out of control. In a new study launched this summer by researchers at several Japanese universities, scientists will be testing a method of delivering NK4 to the site of mesothelioma tumors by administering a virus designed … Continue reading Could a Virus-Delivered Gene Slow Mesothelioma Growth?