Radiotherapy supercharges cancer-targeting viruses to treat deadly skin cancer

Posted on: August 10th, 2016
Melanoma cells (green) infected with the Talimogene laherparepvec ('T-vec') virus, different from the virus used in the study (image courtesy of Kevin Harrington and ICR)

Melanoma cells (green) infected with the Talimogene laherparepvec (‘T-vec’) virus, different from the virus used in the study (image courtesy of Kevin Harrington and ICR)

Research led by Professor Kevin Harrington at the Institute of Cancer Research, London and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust has identified a potentially new and exciting way to treat the most deadly form of skin cancer.

The scientists found that combining radiotherapy with a cancer-targeting virus called RT3D kicks both treatments into overdrive, and is much more effective than separate treatments. In the study, published in the journal Oncotarget, the researchers treated melanoma cells, and tumours with different combinations of radiotherapy and the virus and found that together they killed more cells, were better at shrinking tumours and prolonged survival . 

Professor Kevin Harrington, Joint Head of the Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging at the ICR and a consultant at The Royal Marsden, said: “Once melanoma has started to spread it is hard to treat effectively and often will not respond well to radiotherapy on its own.

“Our study found that delivering radiotherapy with an anti-cancer virus created an effective combination treatment with the potential to benefit patients with melanoma.”

Rosetrees is proud to have supported this study alongside the Oracle Cancer Trust and the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at ICR.

 

 

 

 

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