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Oncolytic Viruses PANVAC and Pelareorep as Treatment for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Iwema, Willemiek (2019) Oncolytic Viruses PANVAC and Pelareorep as Treatment for Metastatic Breast Cancer. Bachelor's Thesis, Life Science and Technology.


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Breast cancer is the most prevalent diagnosed malignancy and the leading cause of cancer death in women. Metastatic breast cancer is a serious problem, since the 5-year survival rate drops to 27% when metastasis has occurred in different parts of the body. There is a need for new treatments for metastatic breast cancer since there is no curative treatment available yet. The oncolytic viruses PANVAC and pelareorep have shown promising anticancer activity in pre-clinical and clinical studies in a broad spectrum of malignancies, but it remains unclear whether they are suitable as anticancer treatments for patients with metastatic breast cancer. The poxviral-based cancer vaccine PANVAC (CEA-MUC-1-TRICOM) induces antigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells and antitumor activity in the host. Since the majority of the breast tumors express the antigens CEA and MUC-1, and the PANVAC vaccine consists of the vectors encoding for the transgenes of CEA and MUC-1, PANVAC can target these tumors. Therefore, PANVAC is an important vaccine against breast cancer. Several clinical trials with advanced-stage carcinomas showed that PANVAC is well-tolerated, safe to use, and clinically beneficial. The reovirus-based cancer vaccine pelareorep (Reolysin®) induces oncolysis in different ways, using mutations in RAS-signaling pathways. As a variety of human tumors have these RAS mutations, making pelareorep an interesting anticancer agent. Clinical trials with pelareorep as mono- or combination treatment concluded that pelareorep is well-tolerated, safe to use, and induces antitumor immune responses. The clinical trial in patients with metastatic breast cancer showed no benefit of the addition of pelareorep to paclitaxel. Even though PANVAC in combination with docetaxel showed improvement of progression-free survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer, both PANVAC and pelareorep are not suitable as a treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Further exploration on these oncolytic virus therapies in metastatic breast cancer may be of interest to design a good combinatorial therapy.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Supervisor nameSupervisor E mail
Degree programme: Life Science and Technology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Aug 2019
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2019 10:49

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