Sunday, January 6, 2019

Oncolytic Virus that Targets Cancer Cells and Associated Tissues

Article Written By: Arslan Salikhov


 Researchers from the University of Oxford and PsiOxus Therapeutics have successfully nourished a virus that specifically targets and kills cancer cells to synthesize a peptide linker (a protein). Specifically, this protein finds and binds cells that are specifically toxic to cancer-associated connective tissue together in order to remove these supportive fibres.
 The microenvironment surrounding tumours provides physical support for cancer to grow and reside within. Building blocks of this environment are usually the cells themselves or their components, such as blood vessels, extracellular matrices, and immune cells. The newly adapted virus tracks, replicates in and kills the cancer cells through a process called oncosis or the swelling and destruction of the cell membrane. Furthermore, the cell death causes the release of T cells (toxic to the tumor microenvironment), which target the structural skeleton of the tumor and allow for a more efficient cancer treatment.
 In the future, findings like this will allow oncologists to apply more efficient approaches to treating cancer, such as immunotherapy, with the help of the newly developed oncolytic viruses.

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