Virus-drug combination shows improved effectiveness against brain tumor cells

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October 8, 2015

Findings published in the journal Neuro-Oncology show that the myxoma virus can help fight off recurring glioblastomas, the most aggressive type of brain tumors. 

The myxoma virus, found in wild rabbits living in Australia and parts of Europe, was initially paired with existing drugs to fight glioblastomas. Researchers further tested 73 compounds with the myxoma virus in order to reach its peak effectiveness against brain-tumor initiating cells. 

Researchers found that Axitinib, an FDA-approved drug used in kidney cancer treatment, was the most effective out of these compounds: it significantly increased cell deaths for cancer-initiating cells when tested on four different cell lines. (Cell lines are populations of cells descending from and containing the same genetic makeup as a single cell.) Researchers say it is particularly interesting because the virus plus Axitinib in Phase 2 studies show an effect against gliomas that start in the brain and spine.  

Click here to read the full study.