Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Scientists from the Department of Oncology have equipped a virus that kills carcinoma cells with a protein so it can also target and kill adjacent cells that are tricked into shielding the cancer from the immune system.

One of the problems we face in killing tumours is that the tumours often recruit healthy cells to help them grow and to protect them from attack.  In this case tumours often recruit fibroblasts to help them shape their local environment and protect them from the immune system.

Dr Fisher and Dr Freedman have engineered a virus so that it both attacks tumour cells directly, and also attacks the fibroblasts, which are supporting the tumour.  The virus attacks the tumour cells and in doing so forces, the tumour cells to make a protein, which binds to fibroblasts and sticks them to and immune cell called a T-cell.  The T-cells are triggered to attack and destroy the fibroblasts helping to undermine the support that the tumour is replying on.

People have tried to attack fibroblast before, but this often causes widespread destruction of fibroblasts, whereas this work targets the tumour-associated fibroblasts which are supporting the tumour.

Read more (University of Oxford website)

Similar stories

Researchers develop easy-to-deploy federated learning system that safeguards patient data

The technique, which builds on recent advances in decentralised machine learning, uses inexpensive pre-programmed micro-computers, making it easy to deploy in hospitals and cheap to scale up.

Festive Science Image Competition Winners

Winners of the Medical Research Foundation's second Festive Science Image Competition, run in partnership with the Medical Research Council (MRC), have been announced today.

Robert Watson Awarded ACP McElwain and Presidents Prize

Dr Robert Watson has won one of three McElwain and President's Prizes from the Association of Cancer Physicians for his DPhil work undertaken with Professor Ben Fairfax.

Prof Anna Schuh launches first private specialised haematology clinic and laboratory in sub-Saharan Africa.

SerenOx Africa aims to address diagnostic gaps for common blood disorders through a testing facility for key underserved patient populations in Tanzania. This facility will also aim to provide early cancer detection for high-risk patients.