Innovative therapy might improve glioblastoma outcomes
A study by researchers at the OSUCCC – James suggests that an innovative triple combination therapy might be particularly effective for glioblastoma (GBM) and should be evaluated in a clinical trial.
The therapy consists of the targeted-drug bortezomib, an oncolytic virus plus natural killer (NK) cell immunotherapy.
“Bortezomib, oncolytic viruses and NK cell immunotherapy are each being investigated separately in clinical trials for glioblastoma,” says principal investigator Balveen Kaur, PhD, professor and vice chair of research, departments of Neurological Surgery and Radiation Oncology, and a member of the OSUCCC – James Translational Therapeutics Program. “Our findings provide a rationale for testing the three therapies in combination in a clinical trial.”
In this study, bortezomib and an oncolytic herpes simplex virus (oHSV) caused glioblastoma cells to die by a process called necroptosis. This form of cell death is different from the type of cell death caused by either agent alone. In addition, it triggers the release of hormone-like factors—proinflammatory cytokines—that attract natural killer (NK) cells, which are cancer-cell killing immune cells.
Furthermore, the bortezomib and oHSV treatment significantly improved the ability of NK cells to identify and kill GBM cells.
More than 11,880 new cases of GBM were estimated to occur in 2015, with overall survival averaging 12 to 15 months after diagnosis. New strategies for treating the disease are critically needed.
“Because proteasome inhibitors, oHSV and NK-cell immunotherapy are currently being investigated individually in GBM patients, this study may help guide the future clinical development of novel combination therapies for glioblastoma,” Kaur says.
Published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.