Viruses are known for their highly infectious and aggressive nature. Some viruses can develop a pathogenic relationship with the host, which means they can cause diseases that range from a mild cough and cold to serious conditions such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). The viruses work by invading the cells of the host and taking over the cellular machinery of the body by releasing viral particles that infect more cells causing widespread illness. However, some viruses, especially oncolytic viruses and bacteriophages, have the ability to support the health of the patient and actually enable them to overcome the diseases they are suffering from.
Oncolytic viruses, just as the name suggests, help to attack and destroy cancer cells thus improving the prognosis of cancer patients. Here is a brief discussion about the role of oncolytic viruses in the management of cancer.
The Beneficial Effects of Oncolytic Viruses
Support Defense Processes
Research studies have revealed that oncolytic viruses such as the latent herpes viruses residing in the body of the patient in a dormant state can support the activities of the natural killer cells.
These viruses can enable natural killer cells to identify cancer cells efficiently so that they can be targeted by the other immune cells more precisely.
Similarly, other oncolytic viruses like GBV-C do not cause any clinical symptoms. However, studies have shown that HIV patients who are infected with GBV-C tend to live longer as compared to those without it.
This marks the beneficial role of oncolytic viruses in the management of disease for some patients.
Naturally Occurring Oncolytic Viruses
Emerging research has revealed that the use of naturally occurring viruses could improve the prognosis of cancer patients significantly. Some of the naturally occurring as well as genetically engineered oncolytic viruses are anti-carcinogenic in humans.
For example, the double-stranded RNA viruses like Reoviruses have been found to possess the ability to preferentially replicate in transformed cell lines while sparing normal cells. The oncolytic properties of these viruses are expected to provide a great therapeutic strategy for the management of cancer.
The current research trials have indicated that the intralesional administration of Reolysin derived from Reoviruses could be effective in the management of advanced solid tumors. It has also demonstrated a broad anti-cancer activity in prostate cancer, metastatic colorectal cancer, malignant glioma, and multiple myeloma.
Including the administration of oncolytic viruses in the treatment protocol for cancer would enhance the chances of complete recovery of patients.
Genetically Engineered Viruses
Genetically engineered oncolytic viruses have also been shown to replicate selectively in cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Studies have shown that the intralesional injections of the second-generation oncolytic HSV-1 (herpes simplex virus type 1) can be effective in the management of advanced malignant melanoma.
Other oncolytic viruses that might produce similar beneficial effects include vaccinia virus pexastimogene devacirepvec (JX-594) for hepatocellular carcinoma and GM-CSF-expressing adenovirus for bladder cancer.
Several oncolytic viruses have been studied extensively with an aim to assess their effectiveness in the management of cancer. Oncolytic viruses are expected to play a vital role in improving the survival of cancer patients by inducing specific antitumor immunity during the course of the tumor-specific viral replication. It may not be long before therapies involving oncolytic viruses become a standard therapeutic strategy for all cancer patients.
Modern technologies have enabled us to understand the complexities of microbial communities, which form a part of our body. In addition to healthy bacteria, researchers are now aware of the presence of healthy viruses present in the skin, gut, and even blood.
Most of the viruses reside in our body naturally while some enter the body when we come in contact with an infected person. These viruses can play a role in creating natural defenses against carcinogenic activities. These benefits of oncolytic viruses could be enhanced further by supporting the functions of the immune system by using BioPro-Plus.
BioPro-Plus is an immunity-balancing supplement that can help to activate and promote the natural anti-cancer defense mechanisms of the body. Regular use of BioPro-Plus along with other promising oncolytic therapies could help to improve the chances of recovery of cancer patients and reduce their risk of relapse.
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