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New advances in cancer virus immunotherapy

New advances in cancer virus immunotherapy
New advances in cancer virus immunotherapy


Vaccinia virus is a therapeutic tool with different biomedical applications depending on its susceptibility characteristics. For example, MVA (Modified Vaccinia Ankara) is unable to replicate in mammalian cells, triggers a strong immune system response, and has been used to develop vaccines against COVID-19 and AIDS. In contrast, other strains, such as Western Reserve (WR) and Copenhagen (Cop), replicate efficiently in tumor cells and have been used to develop cancer treatments. For this reason, they are called immuno-oncolytic viruses and are the basis of viral immunotherapy.

However, these virus strains have reduced immunogenicity and are therefore less effective at activating patients' immune responses against tumors.

Now, a study led by the University of Barcelona, ​​the Bellviche Biomedical Institute (IBIDELL) and the University of Munich (Germany) has developed a new strain of vaccinia virus that is immunogenic while replicating in tumour cells, inducing so-called immunogenic cell death.

The study was published in the journal Molecular TherapyThe study was carried out with the support of the Spanish Association against Cancer (AECC) and in collaboration with the National Research Institute (AEI). Tested in different mouse models, this new therapeutic tool showed low toxicity and a high capacity and efficiency to activate the immune response against tumors. The virus is also effective in the treatment of different cancers, including melanoma, colon cancer and kidney cancer.

“Moreover, when we administered the virus repeatedly, we observed very remarkable results: the complete disappearance of the tumors,” points out expert Juan J. Rojas, first author of the study and principal investigator of the Immunology, Inflammation and Cancer Group at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Uttar Pradesh University and IBIDELL.

The discovery of this new viral strain represents a major advance in viral immunotherapy research and demonstrates its therapeutic potential in treating cancer patients.




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