Could viruses take cancer immunotherapy to the next level?

Posted on Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A woman and man stand, in white coats, in a research laboratory.

Dr. Marie-Claude Bourgeois-Daigneault (left) and Dr. John Bell (right) are hoping viruses will take cancer immunotherapy to the next level.
Photo credit : The Ottawa Hospital

Immunotherapy, which helps the body’s immune system attack cancer, has revolutionized treatment for cancers such as melanoma and leukemia. However, many other kinds of cancer remain resistant. A new study led by researchers at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa suggests that a combination of two immunotherapies (oncolytic viruses and checkpoint inhibitors) could be much more successful in treating breast cancer and possibly other cancers. Their study is published in Science Translational Medicine.

 “It was absolutely amazing to see that we could cure cancer in most of our mice, even in models that are normally very resistant to immunotherapy,” said Dr. Marie-Claude Bourgeois-Daigneault, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. John Bell’s group at The Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa.  “We believe that the same mechanisms are at work in human cancers, but further research is needed to test this kind of therapy in humans.” In the current study, the researchers focused on “triple negative” breast cancer, which is the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat kind of breast cancer.

For more information, please read the full release by the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute.  

 

Media inquiries

Néomie Duval
Manager, Media Relations
University of Ottawa
613-240-0275
neomie.duval@uOttawa.ca

Jenn Ganton
Director, Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-798-5555 x 73325
Cell: 613-614-5253
jganton@ohri.ca

 

 

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