Oncolytics Biotech Inc. has announced that Dr. Adel Jebar of the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, University of Leeds, presented a poster at the 8th Annual International Conference on Oncolytic Virus Therapeutics held in Oxford, UK.
The poster, titled "Combined anti-viral and anti-tumour therapy for virus-associated liver cancer," covered preclinical research into the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) associated with infection by Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV).
Researchers examined REOLYSIN® in panels of both normal and malignant liver cells and administered either REOLYSIN® or saline to SCID mice with HCV-positive HCC xenografts.
The aims of the study were to assess interferon secretion in normal and malignant liver cells in response to reovirus infection; the effects of reovirus infection in normal and malignant liver cells on HBV and HCV proteins; and the anti-viral and anti-cancer effects of reovirus in vivo.
The study results showed that reovirus infection of primary human liver cells and HCC lines induced a robust type I interferon response; that reovirus-conditioned media (filtered to remove reovirus) from both primary human liver cells and JHH1 cells potently inhibits HCV and HBV in vitro with these effects abrogated by the blockade of the type I interferon receptor and soluble interferon beta; and that reovirus inhibits HCC xenograft growth and HCV replication in vivo.
The researchers concluded that the results described a novel dual anti-viral and anti-cancer mechanism for reovirus in HBV/HCV-positive HCC and that reovirus treatment of patients with HBV/HCV positive HCC will likely lead to the suppression, rather than exacerbation, of the underlying oncogenic viral infection. Based on these results, the investigators are evaluating the conduct of a translation clinical study.
"Current clinical practice separates the treatment of viral hepatitis and HCC," said Dr. Matt Coffey, COO of Oncolytics. "The goal of a translational study would be to determine if a combined anti-viral, anti-tumour approach might lead to improved HCC clinical outcomes and the potential for reovirus to be used in the treatment of patients with HBC/HCV but not cancer. The natural induction of interferon likely has far reaching clinical implications in how the virus is exerting anti-tumor as well as anti-viral effects."