Cancer cells send out the alarm on tumor-killing virus
Brain tumor cells infected with a cancer-killing virus release a protein that warns other tumor cells of the impending infection and enables them to mount a defense against the virus, according to a study led by researchers at The Ohio State University. The infected tumor cells release the protein CCN1 into the narrow space between cells where it initiates an antiviral response. The response limits the spread of the oncolytic virus through the tumor, reducing its ability to kill cancer cells and limiting the efficacy of the therapy. The study suggests that cells in general might use this mechanism to help control viral infections, and that blocking the response might improve oncolytic viral therapy for glioblastoma, which has shown promise for the treatment of glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of brain cancer. Patients with glioblastoma survive about 15 months after diagnosis on average, so there is great need for new treatments.