Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tumor-killing Virus Selectively Targets Diseased Brain Cells

Date:
February 22, 2008
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
New findings show that a specialized virus with the ability to reproduce its tumor-killing genes can selectively target tumors in the brains of mice and eliminate them. Healthy brain tissue remained virtually untouched. With more research, the technique could one day offer a novel way of treating brain cancer in humans.

New findings show that a specialized virus with the ability to reproduce its tumor-killing genes can selectively target tumors in the brains of mice and eliminate them. Healthy brain tissue remained virtually untouched, according to a Feb. 20 report in The Journal of Neuroscience. With more research, the technique could one day offer a novel way of treating brain cancer in humans.

"Most importantly, this study finds that the virus can penetrate into the brain, where it even reaches cells that have migrated away from the main tumor," says Harald Sontheimer, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, who was not affiliated with the study. "Assuming that the virus behaves similarly in humans, in the future, it may provide a novel and highly efficacious way to treat resistant tumors."

The study is the culmination of six years of basic research into the fundamental processes of viruses and the cells they target, conducted by senior author Anthony van den Pol, PhD, and his team at Yale University School of Medicine. They set out to test the vesicular stomatis virus, which was selected for its ability to attack brain tumors and leave healthy tissue largely uninfected.

Tumor cells from brain cancers commonly found both in people and in mice were implanted into immune-compromised mice, which then received an injection of the virus in the tail. By viewing fluorescent proteins embedded in both tumor and virus cells in the brains of living mice, van den Pol's team watched as the virus infected multiple sites in the brain, spreading across an entire tumor within three days, killing tumor cells in its wake. The virus did not target normal mouse tissue or non-cancerous human brain cells transplanted into the mouse brain, the team found. They speculated that, unlike those in healthy brain tissue, blood vessels within brain tumors may leak, allowing the virus to cross the usually impenetrable protective barrier around the brain.

The virus was equally effective in destroying tissue from cancers that start in the breast or lung and spread to the brain--the two cancers most likely to metastasize to the brain--and targeted tumors at different sites throughout the body. Each year in the United States, more than 20,000 new cases of brain or nervous system cancers are diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Future research will focus on understanding potential safety risks, such as whether the virus could eventually infect normal brain cells, as well exploring potential changes to the virus that could mitigate such risk. "We have some ideas for making the virus safer in the human brain," says van den Pol. "This is important to prevent the virus from potentially infecting normal brain cells after it has targeted the brain tumor."

The work was a supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Tumor-killing Virus Selectively Targets Diseased Brain Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219203530.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2008, February 22). Tumor-killing Virus Selectively Targets Diseased Brain Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219203530.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Tumor-killing Virus Selectively Targets Diseased Brain Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080219203530.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Possible Ebola Patient in Isolation at California Hospital

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 20, 2014) — A patient who may have been exposed to the Ebola virus is in isolation at the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — A 111-year-old Japanese was certified as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Wednesday. Sakari Momoi, a native of Fukushima in northern Japan, was given a certificate at a hospital in Tokyo. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins