Monoclonal antibodies and adoptive therapy have made significant advances in the treatment of pancreatic cancer (PC) by modulating the immune response and activating the immune system, demonstrating the great promise of immunotherapy in the treatment of PC. However, the uniqueness and complexity of the PC tumor microenvironment (TEM) and the ability of PC cells to evade the immune system remain major challenges. Notably, viruses have been considered useful as anti-cancer agents since the early 20th century. With a better understanding of PC genes and molecular mechanisms, oncolytic viral therapy has shown potential as a new targeted therapeutic approach in PC treatment. Based on viral biology, immunology and genetic engineering, Alfa Oncology has successfully developed oncolytic therapy development services for PC.
Overview of oncolytic viral therapy
Oncolytic viral therapy is a novel cancer treatment that uses natural or genetically modified viruses to selectively destroy cancer cells and activate antitumor immune responses. Specifically, the genetically modified viruses are designed to infect cancer cells and then replicate themselves until the host cancer cell lysis. The chemicals released by the ruptured cancer cells can make the cancer cells more easily recognized by the immune system. In addition, the released virus can infect more cancer cells, triggering a chain reaction and effectively acting as a follow-up treatment.
Fig. 1 A schematic figure of oncolytic viral therapy.
Oncolytic viral therapy development services at Alfa Oncology
With years of research in viral therapy, our team of experts is able to provide comprehensive oncolytic therapy development services for PC, including oncolytic virus design and construction, oncolytic virus in vitro and in vivo assay, and oncolytic virus manufacture. According to the microbiology of PC, we can design and implement effective oncolytic vectors.
- Oncolytic virus design and construction
We will provide a comprehensive review of the background and relevant studies on targeting PC. After identification of targeting PC-specific pathways and antigens, virus species selection will be performed, followed by further adequate engineering modifications. With the advanced technology platform and systemic workflow, we can better exploit the dual mechanism of action of lysing viruses, namely the ability to directly lyse tumors and the ability to direct the immune response against tumors.
- Oncolytic virus in vitro and in vivo assay
To gain a comprehensive understanding of the therapeutic efficacy and further exploitability of the designed oncolytic therapies, we offer in vivo and in vitro validation tests. In vitro studies include identity assay, transgene expression assay, transgene function assay, cytopathic effect assay, and in vitro tests include tumor lysis assay, immunogenicity, biodistribution/PK, and pharmacodynamic toxicity tests.
- Oncolytic virus manufacturing
Based on our extensive experience in oncolytic virus manufacturing and our robust manufacturing process, we can produce various types of oncolytic viruses for preclinical studies, such as adenovirus, oncolytic herpes simplex viruses (HSV), poxviruses, and vaccinia virus.
Several oncolytic viruses have been known to be valuable tools for PC treatment. The efficacy of oncolytic viruses depends on the direct lysis of the tumor, the ability of the virus to spread to surrounding cancer cells, and the ability of the virus to command an immune response to the tumor. For more about our oncolytic therapy development services for PC, please contact us. We are glad to work with you!
- Ady, Justin W., et al. "Oncolytic viral therapy for pancreatic cancer: current research and future directions." Oncolytic Virotherapy 3 (2014): 35.
- Haller, Scott D., Michael L. Monaco, and Karim Essani. "The Present Status of Immuno-Oncolytic Viruses in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer." Viruses 12.11 (2020): 1318.