Friday, December 2, 2016

Orthoreoviruses as a Potential Therapy for Hepatocellular Carcinoma

A study recently published in Gut has found that oncolytic orthoreoviruses may be an effective treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer, which is the third highest cause of cancer deaths and has a poor prognosis in patients who are not eligible for curative treatment, such as liver transplants or surgical resections. HCC is most frequently caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), as well as by drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

The group of researchers from the University of Leeds found that orthoreoviruses stimulated the release of interferon in primary human liver tissue without cytotoxicity and independently of viral genome replication. In addition, orthoreoviruses also induced cytokine responses that suppressed HCV replication both in vitro and in vivo. They also found orthoreoviruses to be effective against HBV-associated HCC and a model of Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoma. The researchers also studied a number of other oncolytic viruses and found that only the Edmonston strain of measles virus had the same level of efficacy as orthoreoviruses in eliciting innate immune responses in primary liver tissue. 

-Sally Tran


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