Virus Selectively Kills Cancer Cells, Study Indicates
A common, benign virus may be a more powerful foe of some cancer cells than previously thought. Research has indicated that the virus, adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2), can inhibit the growth of some cancer cells and, in some cases, cause cell death (apoptosis). But researchers from Penn State University recently reported at the annual meeting of the American Society for Virology that, in laboratory cultures, AAV2 entirely wiped out cancer cells of four different types: cervical, squamous cell, breast, and prostate, while leaving healthy epidermal cells intact.
Only single cell lines of breast, squamous cell, and prostate cancer were studied. Not so for human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cervical cancer, explains Dr. Craig Meyers, professor of microbiology and immunology at the Penn State College of Medicine and the lead investigator on the study.
"We did the experiment 30 or 40 times with all different types of [HPV-related] cervical cancer lines: preneoplastic, ...invasive carcinoma, HPV16, HPV18, HPV31," he says. "Every single time, they died at 6 days, like clockwork." The 6-day time frame for cell death held true for all four cell types studied.
Guest Update by Dr. Robert Croyle
Strengthening the Evidence Base for Quality Cancer Care
One of the most significant challenges in cancer research is connecting the discovery and development of proven cancer therapies with their optimal dissemination and implementation in general clinical practice. Research on cancer care delivery in the community, and the impact of that care on both patients' quality of life and survival, is a critical complement to randomized clinical trials. Evidence concerning delivery can tell us whether clinical trial findings are being applied appropriately in everyday practice and whether cancer patients are receiving the highest possible quality of care - from initial diagnosis through the end of life.
In order to strengthen the evidence base for what constitutes high-quality cancer care, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) launched the 5-year, $34 million Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium (CanCORS) project. With an expected enrollment of 11,000 patients with newly diagnosed lung or colorectal cancer, CanCORS is structured to collect data that reflect the entire span of care from diagnosis through end-of-life care, capturing data from patients, their physicians (surveys and medical records from specialists and nonspecialists), and their informal caregivers who provide care during their treatment. Our aim is to determine the factors that influence the interventions that cancer patients actually receive, and then to evaluate the effects of that care on patients' survival, quality of life, and satisfaction with care.