Rigvir Oncolytic Virus Therapy

Oncolytic Virotherapy (OV) is an established therapy for cancer. Decades of research have been invested into developing oncolytic viruses that selectively replicate in and lyse tumor cells while stimulating an anticancer adaptive immune response.

How Oncolytic Viruses Destroy Cancer Cells – What is an Oncolytic Virus?

Oncolytic viral therapy is a relatively modern approach in treating certain cancers. An Oncolytic virus is a ‘biological weapon’ that acts against cancer cells. It has the ability to infect the cancerous tumor and lyse (kill) the cancer cell while preserving normal cells. Oncolytic virus therapies are proving to be a viable modality for use in cancer treatments both alone and used in combination with other treatment options. The medical community is overly excited about oncolytic viral therapy as it is showing efficacy in many hard-to-treat cancerous tumors such as melanoma.

The Principle Mechanism of Oncolytic Viruses

The principal action of Oncolytic viruses is based upon the characteristics of the select virus being used for treatment. On the forefront of effective cancer treatments, oncolytic viruses are being harnessed for their natural ability to attack cancer cells. Additionally, there are cancers that are known to be especially vulnerable to specific viruses which allows for direct targeting of the tumor. They work in two distinct, but highly effective ways.

The first mechanism of action of RIGVIR Oncolytic therapy is that the select virus preferentially replicates itself inside the cancer cell resulting in the destruction of the cancerous cell but does not harm healthy cells. The modified virus is attracted to especially hard tumors under the skin and it gets inside the tumor and spreads. This action halts the spread of cancer and also kills the affected cells.

The second mechanism is that the virus assists the immune function of the body itself by activating antibodies within the body and results in the lysing of cancer cells. It accomplishes this by triggering the production of T-cells, which are a type of white blood cell that plays a central role in the body’s immune function.

What Cancers Are Being Treated with Oncolytic Viruses

Many cancers are being treated by the use of oncolytic therapy. Revolutionary progress is being gained everyday by clinical studies of viruses with regard to otherwise irresponsive cancer tumors. There are several viruses used in oncolytic viral therapy – narrowly designed to target many types of solid cancerous tumors. The cancers that are being treated with oncolytic viral therapy include:

  • Melanoma
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Cancers
  • Breast Cancer

Oncolytic viral therapy appeals to cancer patients because they don’t experience hair loss and related maladies. Oncolytic viruses are well tolerated and the side effects are minimal and tend to disappear within a few days.

Why do patients choose Oncolytic Virotherapy

Virotherapy destroys tumour cells selectively without affecting the healthy cells of the body, this therapy has no side effects. Oncolytic Virotherapy stimulates the body’s natural defence mechanisms by activating the immune system, which is often suppressed by other treatment methods, it is a safe therapy, with promising results in various types of cancer.
Oncolytic Virotherapy can be used against tumours that don’t respond well to radiation or chemotherapy, such as melanoma.
Virotherapy can be used at various stages throughout the treatment process: before or after surgery and between radiation or chemotherapy treatments and in combination with other integrative cancer treatment methods.

How Oncolytic Viruses Differ from Other Therapies

Unlike traditional therapies, oncolytic viruses are designed to specifically target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. As an appealing benefit to patients, oncolytic viral therapy works without the harsh side effects as conventional therapies such as chemotherapy. Most of the post-therapy symptoms are reported to dissipate within a few days. Also, oncolytic viruses show ability to kill cancerous cells that have become resistant to other treatment methods. Many oncolytic viruses are systemically administered and have a greater safety quotient than other related therapies.

Common Side Effects of Oncolytic Viral Therapy

Oncolytic viral therapies are well-tolerated, making them a viable treatment option against a variety of cancer types. Some of the more common side-effects reported are a “flu-like” symptoms. They include symptoms such as the chills, fever, nausea, loss of appetite and muscle ache. Some reported pain at the injection sites, but mostly a low incidence of serious adverse reactions while being treated are reported.

Scientific publications.

1.            Simona Doniņa, Ieva Strēle, Guna Proboka, Jurģis Auziņš, Pēteris Alberts, Björn Jonsson, Dite Venskus and Aina Muceniece, Adapted ECHO-7 virus Rigvir immunotherapy (oncolytic virotherapy) prolongs survival in melanoma patients after surgical excision of the tumour in a retrospective study. Melanoma Research 2015, 25:421–426. https://doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000180

2.             Pēteris Alberts, Evija Olmane, Linda Brokāne, Zanda Krastiņa, Māra Romanovska, Kārlis Kupčs, Sergejs Isajevs, Guna Proboka, Romualds Erdmanis, Jurijs Nazarovs, Dite Venskus. Long-term treatment with the oncolytic ECHO-7 virus Rigvir of a melanoma stage IV M1c patient, a small cell lung cancer stage IIIA patient, and a histiocytic sarcoma stage IV patient – three case reports. APMIS 2016; 124: 896-904. https://doi.org/10.1111/apm.12576

3.             Guna Proboka, Andra Tilgase, Sergejs Isajevs, Agnija Rasa, and Pēteris Alberts. Melanoma unknown primary brain metastasis treatment with ECHO-7 oncolytic virus Rigvir: a case report. Frontiers in Oncology. 26 February 2018, vol. 8, https://doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2018.00043 .

4.             Andra Tilgase, Liene Patetko, Ilze Blāķe, Anna Ramata Stunda, Mārtiņš Borodušķis, and Pēteris Alberts. Effect of the oncolytic ECHO-7 virus Rigvir® on the viability of cell lines of human origin in vitro. Journal of Cancer. 2018; 9(6): 1033-1049https://doi.org/10.7150/jca.23242

5.             Andra Tilgase, Evija Olmane, Jurijs Nazarovs, Linda Brokāne, Romualds Erdmanis, Agnija Rasa, Pēteris Alberts. Multimodality Treatment of a Colorectal Cancer Stage IV Patient with FOLFOX-4, Bevacizumab, Rigvir Oncolytic Virus, and Surgery. Case Rep Gastroenterol 2018; 12: 457–465. https://doi.org/10.1159/000492210

6.             Pēteris Alberts, Andra Tilgase, Agnija Rasa, Katrīna Bandere and Dite Venskus. The advent of oncolytic virotherapy in oncology: the Rigvir® story. Eur. J. Pharmacol. 2018; 837, 117-126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2018.08.042

7.             Zaurbek Ismailov, Agnija Rasa, Katrīna Bandere, Linda Brokāne, Andra Tilgase, Evija Olmane, Jurijs Nazarovs, Pēteris Alberts. A case of stage IV chromophobe renal cell carcinoma treated with the oncolytic ECHO-7 virus, Rigvir®. Am J Case Rep, 2019; 20: 48-52. https://doi.org/10.12659/AJCR.912115

8.             Linda Brokāne, Inta Jaunalksne, Andra Tilgase, Evija Olmane, Donatas Petroška, Agnija Rasa, Pēteris Alberts, Combination treatment with nivolumab and Rigvir of a progressive stage IIC skin melanoma patient. Clinical Case Reports. 2019, 7, 1191-1196. https://doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.2182

9.             Guna Proboka, Agnija Rasa, Evija Olmane, Sergejs Isajevs, Andra Tilgase, and Pēteris Alberts, Treatment of a stage III rima glottidis patient with the oncolytic virus Rigvir: A retrospective case report. Medicine; 2019: 98, 45 (e17883). http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000017883

10.          P. Alberts, Comment on: Malfitano, A.M. et al. “Virotherapy as a Potential Therapeutic Approach for the Treatment of Aggressive Thyroid Cancer” Cancers 2019, 11, 1532. Cancers, 2020, 12(2), 263; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12020263

11.          Inta Jaunalksne, Linda Brokāne, Donatas Petroška, Agnija Rasa, and Pēteris Alberts, ECHO‑7 Oncolytic Virus Rigvir® in an Adjuvant setting for Stage I Uveal Melanoma; A Retrospective Case Report, American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports, 2020, 17, 100615. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajoc.2020.100615

12.          Andra Tilgase, Lita Grīne, Ilze Blāķe, Mārtiņs Borodušķis, Agnija Rasa, Pēteris Alberts, Effect of oncolytic ECHO-7 virus strain Rigvir on uveal melanoma cell lines, BMC Res Notes, 2020, 13:222. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-020-05068-4

13.          Guna Proboka, Andra Tilgase, Sergejs Isajevs, Tatjana Zablocka, Evija Olmane, Agnija Rasa, Pēteris Alberts, Adrenal Gland and Gastric Malignant Melanoma without Evidence of Skin Lesion Treated with the Oncolytic Virus Rigvir, Case Rep Oncol 2020;13:424–430, https://doi.org/10.1159/000506978

14.          Elizabete Pumpure, Eva Dručka, Dana Kigitoviča, Raimundas Meškauskas, Sergejs Isajevs, Ineta Nemiro, Agnija Rasa, Evija Olmane, Tatjana Zablocka, Pēteris Alberts, and Simona Doniņa, Management of a primary malignant melanoma of uterine cervix stage IVA patient with radical surgery and adjuvant oncolytic virus Rigvir® therapy: a case report. Clinical Case Reports 2020; xx, y-z. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ccr3.2928

15.          Vladimirs Sorokins, Andra Tilgase, Evija Olmane, Sergejs Isajevs, Tatjana Zablocka, Agnija Rasa and Pēteris Alberts, A progressive stage IIIB melanoma treated with oncolytic ECHO-7 virus: A case report. SAGE Open Medical Case Reports, 2020, 8: 1–4. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2050313X20934978

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