Virus plus rapamycin kills glioblastoma stem cells

Share this article:

An oncolytic virus infected and killed both brain cancer stem cells and differentiated compartments of the common and deadly malignant brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), when combined with the immunosuppressant drug rapamycin.

Because oncolytic virotherapy has the potential to target multiple compartments within GBM, this form of treatment may be able to work around some of the barriers facing conventional therapies, explained Peter A. Forsyth, MD, and fellow investigators in Neuro-Oncology (2013;15[7]:904-920). Forsyth, of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute in Tampa, Florida, worked with a team to test the oncolytic potential of myxoma virus alone and in combination with rapamycin using human brain tumor–initiating cells (BTICs).

Laboratory cultures and animal models revealed that brain cancer stem cells were susceptible to myxoma virus. This was true even in cell lines resistant to temozolomide, an agent that can improve survival among persons with GBM. In mice, the virus replicated within the BTICs and significantly prolonged survival.

The addition of rapamycin to myxoma virus improved antitumor activity, including in mice with advanced BTIC tumors.

The study results suggest that myxoma virus in combination with rapamycin infects and kills both the BTICs and the differentiated compartments of GBM, and, although not curative, may be an effective treatment for GBM even in patients resistant to temozolomide.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of ONA to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters


What is this?

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Genitourinary Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Rare Cancers Regimens
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs

More in Web Exclusives

Survival equivalent with cetuximab or bevacizumab in metastatic colorectal cancer

For patients with KRAS wild-type untreated colorectal cancer, adding cetuximab or bevacizumab to combination chemotherapy offers equivalent survival.

Some aggressive cancers may respond to anti-inflammatory drugs

New research raises the prospect that some cancer patients with aggressive tumors may benefit from a class of anti-inflammatory drugs currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Pain and itch may indicate skin cancer

Pain and itch may indicate skin cancer

Asking patients if a suspicious skin lesion is painful or itchy may help doctors decide whether the spot is likely to be cancerous, according to a new study.