Coxsackievirus - A Common Cold Virus Can Treat Bladder Cancer

Release Date: 03-Oct-2019

According to the Findings of a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, oncolytic virus coxsackievirus showed prominent action in a small cohort study of patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This approach of using oncolytic virus is emerging as a novel therapeutic approach for the management of various cancers. During the study, it was observed that one patient had no trace of cancer following treatment.


Usually, the viruses have been associated with several health related complications. However, the therapeutic potential of some viruses is known and many other Viruses are under investigation. They can improve our overall health and well-being by destroying cancerous cells. According to Nicola E. Annels, BSc, PhD, research fellow at the University of Surrey in the U.K., Oncolytic viruses such as the coxsackievirus could transform the way we treat cancer and could signal a move away from more established treatments, such as chemotherapy.


Nicola E. Annels and his colleagues worked for the evaluation of the intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1)-targeted coxsackievirus A21 (CVA21), which is a naturally occurring strain of the common cold. They choose this virus as a novel oncolytic agent before surgery among 15 patients with nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer.


According to Annels, importantly, we observed an increase in immune checkpoint inhibitory genes within the bladder tumors in response to the virus treatment. Although this might seem to be a negative side effect, the efficacy of oncolytic virus therapy is expected to improve further when combined with immunotherapy using specific immune checkpoint inhibitors.


He also added that the idea of treating a tumor with a virus will increase the infiltration of immune cells, upon which the checkpoint inhibitors can work to keep the immune cells functioning against the cancer. Therefore, the next stage of clinical evaluation of CVA21 in nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer logically would be in combination therapy, sequencing the checkpoint inhibitor after CVA21 to provide a potential alternative to standard Bacillus Calmette-Guandeacute;rin.

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