XIAMEN, March 26 (Xinhua) - A new anticancer drug capable of "lysing" cancer cells has been granted approval to enter clinical trials in China, the drug's developers said Wednesday.
The drug, jointly developed by Xiamen University and two Chinese companies, is the latest attempt to use oncolytic virotherapy to treat a number of solid cancers, including head-neck carcinoma, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and liver cancer.
Oncolytic virotherapy is an immunotherapy that "lyses," or destroys, cancer cells and releases tumor-associated antigens that will stimulate the patient's immune response.
Researchers with Xiamen University said they constructed a new-generation oncolytic virus, encoding PD-1 antibodies, that boasts a higher cure rate on tumor-bearing mice.
The virus can directly deliver PD-1 antibodies within the tumors, leading to "immunogenic death" of tumor cells, a process that will lure in activated T-cells to kill more cancer cells, researchers said.
Further studies show the virus eliminates the local tumor and distant tumor by stimulating the antitumor immune response, and the cured mice were found to have a long-term antitumor immune memory and can resist the re-attack of the same tumor cells.