In a nutshell
This study wanted to analyse the current literature on using cancer killing viruses as a treatment for melanoma. The study found that there is only one virus that has been approved for use in treatment of melanoma, however there are others being developed, and current results are promising.
A new approach to treating cancer is called oncolytic virotherapy. This involves engineering viruses to attack only cancer cells, therefore killing the cancer cells, but leaving the surrounding tissue alone. It is important to research if this is effective in the treatment of melanoma.
Methods & findings
Current literature was analysed about using these viruses in treatment of melanoma. Currently there is only one oncolytic virus which is approved for use in patients with melanoma. It is called talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) and it used especially in patients with advanced melanoma.
One study found that 48% of patients responded to T-VEC when it was used in combination with other treatments. Another study used T-VEC in combination with ipilimumab (Yervoy) and found that 39% of patients responded to the combined treatment, while only 18% responded to ipilimumab when it was used alone. There are many other viruses currently being developed, but most of these are not approved for use in humans yet. One option in treatment of melanoma is to use these oncolytic viruses in combination with other treatments.
The bottom line
The study concluded that cancer-killing viruses may be safe and effective in the treatment of patients with melanoma.
The fine print
Patients may be resistant to the viral treatment and kill it before it can work.
Published By :
Current oncology reports
Aug 25, 2018