Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Biologics & Bioprocessing
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Engineered Small-Pox Vaccine may Kill Liver Cancer

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Bookmark and Share
As part of a multicenter clinical trial, researchers at University of California are evaluating Pexa-Vec (JX-594) to slow the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or liver cancer.

Pexa-Vec is a genetically engineered virus that is used in the smallpox vaccine.

"This clinical trial is evaluating a drug already known to be safe as a vaccine. We are applying it as a potential destructive agent for liver cancer," said Tony Reid, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine and medical oncologist at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. "The goal of the trial is to evaluate if Pexa-Vec can extend patients' survival through its ability to selectively target and kill cancer cells, cut off the tumor's blood supply, and activate the body's own immune system to fight the cancer."

Patients who are eligible for this Phase 2b randomized clinical trial have a diagnosis of HCC and have been found to be unresponsive to sorafenib, the only systemic therapy currently approved by the FDA.

The clinical trial is designed to compare overall survival for patients receiving the drug combined with palliative care (such as hydration, nutrition and pain management) to patients who receive palliation alone with no additional drug treatment.

While Pexa-Vec is derived from vaccinia virus and is similar to smallpox, it doesn't contain smallpox and cannot cause the disease. The virus was chosen for study because it shows an ability to target cancerous tissues relative to normal tissues.

During the 18-week trial, Pexa-Vec is given both intravenously and injected directly into the tumor. Common side effects include flu-like symptoms including fevers, chills and fatigue that generally last less than 24 hours.

Hepatocellular carcinoma is estimated to be the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths world-wide, and the 5th most common cancer diagnosis. It is estimated that 22,000 people were diagnosed in the U.S. last year, and 16,000 people died from the illness.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Opening the Door to Safer, More Precise Cancer Therapies
New method regulates when, and how strongly, cancer-killing therapeutic T cells are activated.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Nanosponge Vaccine Fights MRSA Toxins
Nanosponges that soak up a dangerous pore-forming toxin produced by MRSA could serve as a safe and effective vaccine against this toxin.
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
Potential New Drug for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Vedolizumab, a new intravenous antibody medication, has shown positive results for treating both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Monday, September 02, 2013
Study Finds Potential Medical Uses for Algae
Can scientists rid malaria from the Third World by simply feeding algae genetically engineered with a vaccine?
Monday, April 22, 2013
FDA Names Breast Cancer Drug a Breakthrough Therapy
An experimental drug being investigated for the treatment of advanced breast cancer by researchers at UCLA this week received breakthrough therapy designation from the U.S. FDA.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Antimalarial Drug Launched
Twelve years after a breakthrough discovery in his UC Berkeley laboratory, professor of chemical engineering Jay Keasling is seeing his dream come true.
Friday, April 12, 2013
Immune Cells Cluster and Communicate ‘Like Bees,’ Researcher Says
UCSF study on T-cell behavior sheds light on how vaccines work.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Biologists Engineer Algae to Make Complex Anti-Cancer ‘Designer’ Drug
Biologists at UC San Diego have succeeded in genetically engineering algae to produce a complex and expensive human therapeutic drug used to treat cancer.
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Strengthening Proteins with Polymers
Researchers describe how they synthesized polymers to attach to proteins in order to stabilize them during shipping, storage and other activities.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Scientific News
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
World’s First Therapeutic Venom Database
Open-source library describes nearly 43,000 effects on the human body.
Speeding Up the Process of Making Vaccines
System uses a freeze-dry concept to develop "just-add-water" solution.
Surprising Trait Found in Anti-HIV Antibodies
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have new weapons in the fight against HIV.
New Method Identifies Up to Twice as Many Proteins and Peptides
An international team of researchers developed a method that identifies up to twice as many proteins and peptides in mass spectrometry data than conventional approaches.
The Do’s and Don’ts of SPR Experiments
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) is a technique that is becoming more widely used, particularly by anyone who wants to obtain accurate on (association) and off (dissociation) rates for biomolecular binding.
Genetically Engineering Algae to Kill Cancer Cells
New interdisciplinary research has revealed the frontline role tiny algae could play in the battle against cancer, through the innovative use of nanotechnology.
Novel Stem Cell Line Avoids Risk of Introducing Transplanted Tumors
Progenitor cells might eventually be used to repair or rebuild damaged or destroyed organs.
Single Vaccine for Chikungunya, Related Viruses May be Possible
What if a single vaccine could protect people from infection by many different viruses? That concept is a step closer to reality.
Blocking the Transmission Of Malaria Parasites
Vaccine candidate administered for the first time in humans in a phase I clinical trial led by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute, with partners Imaxio and GSK.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos