Navigation Links
Cancer drug slows poxvirus in mice

Mice given a relatively new cancer drug can survive an otherwise lethal dose of vaccinia virus, a relative of smallpox virus, report scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The findings, say the investigators, suggest that Gleevec or similar drugs might be useful in preventing adverse side effects of smallpox vaccine. The classic smallpox vaccine is made from live, weakened vaccinia virus and is not recommended for people with compromised immunity, except in emergency situations where they may have been exposed to smallpox virus.

"This study helps illuminate the cellular machinery used by poxviruses to exit infected cells, and also provides new support for the concept of treating viral infections by targeting specific host cell molecules rather than the viruses themselves," says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.

The senior author of the paper, published online this week in the journal Nature Medicine, is Daniel Kalman, Ph.D., of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.

Like all viruses, poxviruses co-opt various cellular molecules and processes to enter a cell, replicate and then spread to uninfected cells. Using lab-grown cells, Dr. Kalman and his colleagues identified specific cell proteins vaccinia uses to detach from an infected cell and move toward an uninfected cell. The proteins, members of the Abl-family (pronounced "able") of tyrosine kinases, are well known to cancer investigators because mutation of one family member, Abl, causes a rare form of cancer known as chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Gleevec inhibits Abl-family tyrosine kinases and has proved very useful in treating CML.

To learn whether Gleevec could prevent or lessen vaccinia's ability to spread in a living organism, the researchers treated mice with either saline solution or with Gleevec at a dose equivalent to that given to humans being treated for CML. Ne xt, they exposed the mice to ordinarily lethal amounts of vaccinia. All of the Gleevec-treated mice survived, while 70 percent of the untreated mice died.

This finding, if confirmed in additional animal model studies, suggests that Gleevec might play a role in addressing a public health emergency in the event of a smallpox outbreak, Dr. Kalman says. Specifically, Gleevec might be useful as a preventative against adverse effects of smallpox vaccine, enabling clinicians to use the vaccine even in people who otherwise could not take it. Given for a short period, Gleevec theoretically could hamper the cell-to-cell spread of virus and allow the body's immune system to mount a successful defense, he explains. Experiments to test whether Gleevec might work against smallpox virus as well as against vaccinia virus are now being planned, Dr. Kalman says. "The approach of fighting disease by targeting drugs to cellular molecules rather than to disease agents themselves may be applicable to a wide variety of pathogenic microorganisms," he says.

Routine vaccinations for smallpox ended in this country in the early 1970s, and the World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated in 1980. Nevertheless, concern remains that smallpox virus could be unleashed through an act of bioterror. For this reason, scientists are working to better understand the mechanisms of smallpox disease and to develop new and improved smallpox treatments and vaccines.

NIAID is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIAID supports basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria and illness from potential agents of bioterrorism. NIAID also supports research on transplantation and immune-related illnesses, including autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies.


Referenc e: PM Reeves et al. Disabling poxvirus pathogenesis by inhibition of Abl-family tyrosine kinases. Nature Medicine DOI: 10.1038/nm1265 (2005).



Related biology news :

1. Adding Radiation Therapy To Chemotherapy Improves Survival In Patients With High-risk Breast Cancer
2. Jump-starting T Cells In Skin Cancer
3. Deficient DNA Repair Capacity Associated With Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer
4. Fox Chase Cancer Center scientists identify immune-system mutation
5. Breakthrough Microarray-based Technology for the Study of Cancer
6. Yale Scientists Find MicroRNA Regulates Ras Cancer Gene
7. Fundamental Finding Yields Insight into Stem Cells, Cancer; Opens Door to Drug Discovery
8. First-ever Compounds To Target Only Metastatic Cells Are Highly Effective Against Breast, Prostate, And Colon Cancers
9. Gene Vaccine Protects Mice Against Development Of Her2/neu Breast Cancer
10. New Breast Cancer Test Could Save Lives
11. Estrogen-like Component of Plastic Stimulates Growth of Certain Prostate Cancer Cells
Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 On Monday, the Department of ... to share solutions for the Biometric Exit Program. The ... Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends to add ... the United States , in order to ... imposters. Logo - ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... June 16, 2016 The ... expected to reach USD 1.83 billion by 2024, ... Research, Inc. Technological proliferation and increasing demand in ... expected to drive the market growth. ... The development of advanced multimodal techniques for ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... -- Paris Police Prefecture ... to ensure the safety of people and operations in several ... tournament Teleste, an international technology group specialised in ... that its video security solution will be utilised by ... safety across the country. The system roll-out is scheduled for ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel ... clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module ... circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. ... the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ... entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading ...
(Date:6/27/2016)...   Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism ... today awarded as one of the World Economic ... most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology ... world in the nutrition, health and consumer goods ... customers including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: