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Mouse studies suggest oncolytic viruses could help prevent cancer metastasis following surgery. In multiple mouse models of cancer, surgery-induced stress suppressed the activity of NK cells, which led to pulmonary metastases. In the same mouse models, perioperative delivery of the oncolytic virus JX-594 or the oncolytic parapoxvirus dubbed orf activated NK cells and decreased pulmonary metastases compared with no treatment. Next steps include evaluating other ways of stimulating the innate immune system in cancer.
JX-594, a recombinant vaccinia virus from Jennerex Inc., is in Phase II testing to treat various cancers.

SciBX 5(44); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1156
Published online Nov. 8, 2012

JX-594 patented by Jennerex; patent filed by Ottawa Hospital Research Institute covering the orf oncolytic parapoxvirus; available for licensing
Contact: Anouk Fortin, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
phone: 613-737-8899 x78930

Tai, L.-H. et al. Cancer Res.;
published online Oct. 22, 2012;
Contact: Rebecca A. Auer,
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada