AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 2, 2018

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Mayo Discovery Means Individualized Ovarian, Brain Cancer Therapies

Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that a molecular communication pathway – thought to be defective in cancer – is a key player in determining the effectiveness of measles virus oncolytic cancer treatment in ovarian and aggressive brain cancers. This discovery enabled researchers to develop an algorithm to predict treatment effectiveness in individual patients. 

“This discovery and algorithm will allow us to personalize cancer treatment by matching the most appropriate patients with oncolytic virus therapies,” says Evanthia Galanis, M.D., senior author of the study. “We’ll also know which ones can be helped by combining cancer virotherapy with other immune approaches.

This activation channel, known as the interferon response pathway, had been considered defective in cancer cells. Not so, according to the research team. They performed tests for gene variants and signatures that would identify pathways that resisted the effectiveness of the virus-based treatments that Mayo Clinic has long been developing.

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