Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Virus kills breast cancer cells in laboratory

Date:
September 22, 2011
Source:
Penn State
Summary:
A nondisease-causing virus kills human breast cancer cells in the laboratory, creating opportunities for potential new cancer therapies, according to researchers who tested the virus on three different breast cancer types that represent the multiple stages of breast cancer development.

A nondisease-causing virus kills human breast cancer cells in the laboratory, creating opportunities for potential new cancer therapies, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers who tested the virus on three different breast cancer types that represent the multiple stages of breast cancer development.

Related Articles


Adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) is a virus that regularly infects humans but causes no disease. Past studies by the same researchers show that it promotes tumor cell death in cervical cancer cells infected with human papillomavirus. Researchers used an unaltered, naturally occurring version of AAV2 on human breast cancer cells.

"Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in the world and is the leading cause of cancer-related death in women," said Samina Alam, Ph.D., research associate in microbiology and immunology. "It is also complex to treat."

Craig Meyers, Ph.D., professor of microbiology and immunology, said breast cancer is problematic to treat because of its multiple stages.

"Because it has multiple stages, you can't treat all the women the same. Currently, treatment of breast cancer is dependent on multiple factors such as hormone-dependency, invasiveness and metastases, drug resistance and potential toxicities. Our study shows that AAV2, as a single entity, targets all different grades of breast cancer."

Cells have multiple ways of dying. If damage occurs in a healthy cell, the cell turns on production and activation of specific proteins that allow the cell to commit suicide. However, in cancer cells these death pathways are often turned off, while the proteins that allow the cell to divide and multiply are stuck in the "on" position.

One way to fight cancer is to find ways to turn on these death pathways, which is what researchers believe is happening with the AAV2 virus. In tissue culture dishes in the laboratory, 100 percent of the cancer cells are destroyed by the virus within seven days, with the majority of the cell death proteins activated on the fifth day. In another study, a fourth breast cancer derived cell line, which is the most aggressive, required three weeks to undergo cell death

"We can see the virus is killing the cancer cells, but how is it doing it?" Alam said. "If we can determine which viral genes are being used, we may be able to introduce those genes into a therapeutic. If we can determine which pathways the virus is triggering, we can then screen new drugs that target those pathways. Or we may simply be able to use the virus itself."

Research needs to be completed to learn how AAV2 is killing cancer cells and which of its proteins are activating the death pathways.

According to Meyers, the cellular myc gene seems to be involved. While usually associated with cell proliferation, myc is a protein also known to promote cell death. The scientists have observed increased expression of myc close to the time of death of the breast cancer cells in the study. They report their results in a recent issue of Molecular Cancer.

AAV2 does not affect healthy cells. However, if AAV2 were used in humans, the potential exists that the body's immune system would fight to remove it from the body. Therefore, by learning how AAV2 targets the death pathways, researchers potentially can find ways to treat the cancer without using the actual virus.

In ongoing studies, the Penn State researchers have also shown AAV2 can kill cells derived from prostate cancer, methoselioma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. A fourth line of breast cancer cells -- representing the most aggressive form of the disease -- was also studied in a mouse breast tumor model, followed by treatment with AAV2. Preliminary results show the destruction of the tumors in the mice, and researchers will report the findings of those mouse studies soon.

Other researchers on this project are Brian S. Bowser and Mohd Israr, Department of Microbiology and Immunology; Michael J. Conway, Section of Infection Diseases, Yale School of Medicine; and Apurva Tandon, Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, Colorado State University.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health, Breast and Cervical Cancer Initiative supported this research. The researchers have filed for a U.S. patent on this work.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Samina Alam, Brian S Bowser, Michael J Conway, Mohd Israr, Apurva Tandon, Craig Meyers. Adeno-associated virus type 2 infection activates caspase dependent and independent apoptosis in multiple breast cancer lines but not in normal mammary epithelial cells. Molecular Cancer, 2011; 10 (1): 97 DOI: 10.1186/1476-4598-10-97

Cite This Page:

Penn State. "Virus kills breast cancer cells in laboratory." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110922114239.htm>.
Penn State. (2011, September 22). Virus kills breast cancer cells in laboratory. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110922114239.htm
Penn State. "Virus kills breast cancer cells in laboratory." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110922114239.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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