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Newcastle Disease Virus (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Laboratory / Animal / Preclinical Studies

Effects of Newcastle Disease Virus on Human Cancer Cells

The ability of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) to replicate efficiently in human cancer cells has been demonstrated in both laboratory studies and animal studies.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12] Reviewed in [13,14] Several of these studies have provided much of the evidence that lytic strains of NDV are also oncolytic.[3,4,5,6,8,9,10,12] Reviewed in [13]

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Strain 73-T, which is lytic, has been shown to replicate efficiently in human tumor cells [15] and kill the following types of human cancer cells in vitro: fibrosarcoma, osteosarcoma, neuroblastoma, bladder carcinoma, cervical carcinoma, melanoma, Wilms tumor, and myeloid leukemia;[3,6,8,9] however, this strain did not kill human B-cell lymphoma (i.e., Burkitt lymphoma) cells in vitro.[8] In addition, strain 73-T did not kill normal, proliferating human white blood cells or normal human skin fibroblasts in vitro,[3,6,8] but it killed normal human lung fibroblasts in vitro at the same rate that it killed cancer cells.[8]

Lytic strain Roakin has been reported to kill human B-cell lymphoma cells and T cells transformed in vitro from a Hodgkin lymphoma patient four to five times faster than it kills normal, resting human white blood cells.[4,5] This strain, however, has also been reported to kill normal, proliferating human white blood cells in vitro, though at a lower rate than it kills cancer cells.[4]

Lytic strain Italien (or Italian) has been shown to kill human squamous cell lung carcinoma, melanoma, breast carcinoma, and larynx carcinoma, but not cervical carcinoma, cells in vitro.[12] The replication efficiency of this strain in normal human cells was not tested.

Overall, these results show that there are some types of human cancer cells in which individual lytic strains of NDV do not replicate very well and that there are some types of normal human cells in which they replicate very efficiently. Nonetheless, these data and the absence of serious illness in individuals infected with NDV Reviewed in [1,2,3,10,13,16,17,18,19,20,21] are consistent with the view that NDV replicates much more efficiently in human cancer cells than it does in most types of normal human cells (i.e., "DBTRG.05MG human glioblastoma," "U-87MG human astrocytoma,"[22] "rat F98 glioblastoma cells,"[23] and "mouse Ehrlich ascites carcinoma").[24]

NDV strain Ulster, which is nonlytic, has also been shown to replicate efficiently in human cancer cells in vitro, including cells of the following types of human tumors: colorectal carcinoma, gastric carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, bladder carcinoma, breast carcinoma, ovarian carcinoma, renal cell carcinoma, lung carcinoma, larynx carcinoma, cervical carcinoma, glioblastoma, melanoma, B-cell lymphoma, and T-cell lymphoma.[7] This strain does not replicate very efficiently in resting or proliferating normal human white blood cells in vitro.[7] Other experiments have shown that NDV Ulster can kill infected cells,[25] Reviewed in [14] and it can replicate in human cancer cells whether they are actively proliferating or not.[7] Reviewed in [20]


WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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