Viral therapy effective against rare bone and muscle cancers in lab models

July 18, 2017

Cancers that arise in the bone, muscle and connective tissues (called sarcomas) are relatively rare and difficult to treat. Dr. Jean-Simon Diallo and Dr. Hesham Abdelbary teamed up to see if viruses that have proven effective in other cancer models might also be able to treat sarcoma. Their comprehensive study involved five different viruses, four sarcoma cell lines and 21 sarcoma samples from patients at The Ottawa Hospital. They found that the Maraba MG1 virus was best, infecting 80 percent of the human sarcoma samples and nearly doubling the number of long term survivors in an animal model. Researchers at The Ottawa Hospital, CHEO, McMaster and uOttawa have already initiated clinical trials with this virus in other kinds of cancer, and hope to test it in sarcoma patients in the future. See International Journal of Cancer for details.

Authors: Fabrice Le Boeuf, Mohammed Selman, Hwan Hee Son, Anabel Bergeron, Andrew Chen, Jovian Tsang, Derek Butterwick, Rozanne Arulanandam, Nicole E. Forbes, Fanny Tzelepis, John C. Bell, Joel Werier, Hesham Abdelbary, Jean-Simon Diallo.

Acknowledgements: This research was possible because of generous support from the community for Cancer Research at The Ottawa Hospital. This study was also funded by Valerie’s Flutter Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Terry Fox Foundation, the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society. Ongoing clinical trials with Maraba MG1 are supported by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Turnstone Biologics and BioCanRx.

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