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    Newcastle Disease Virus (PDQ®): Complementary and alternative medicine - Health Professional Information [NCI] - History

    The first published report to establish a link between infection with a virus and the regression of cancer appeared in 1912.[1,2,3,4,5,6] This report described a woman whose cervical cancer improved following treatment to prevent rabies. The woman had been bitten by a dog, and she was subsequently injected with a vaccine made of attenuated (i.e., weakened) rabies virus. Over the next 60 years, many other viruses, including Newcastle disease virus (NDV), were shown to have anticancer potential.[1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25] The first report of positive results using NDV as a treatment for human cancer was published in 1964.[9] By that time, attenuated strains of NDV had been used for almost 2 decades to prevent Newcastle disease in birds, and the inability of this virus to cause serious illness in humans had been established.

    As indicated previously (refer to the General Information section of this summary for more information), cells infected with NDV can be killed directly by the virus or indirectly through an immune system response to the infection. The immune system uses a variety of approaches to kill virus-infected cells, including attack by cytotoxic cells (i.e., natural killer cells and/or cytotoxic T cells); attack by antivirus antibodies, which are made by B cells; and the release of cytokines.[2,6,15,18,22,25,26,27,28]

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    General Information About Pancreatic Cancer

    This summary provides information about the treatment of exocrine pancreatic cancer. Other PDQ summaries containing information related to cancer in the pancreas include the following: Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (Islet Cell Tumors) Treatment. Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (pancreatic cancer during childhood). Incidence and Mortality Estimated new cases and deaths from pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2014:[1] New cases: 46,420. Deaths: 39,590...

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    Cytokines can be directly cytotoxic to virus-infected cells (e.g., tumor necrosis factor [TNF] -alpha).[14,15,20] In addition, they can stimulate increases in the activity and/or numbers of specific types of immune system cells (e.g., interferon -alpha, interferon-gamma, and TNF-alpha).[2,29,30,31]

    As also indicated previously (refer to the General Information section of this summary for more information), if the immune system is responding to virus-infected cancer cells (or fragments of cancer cells), then better recognition of tumor-specific antigens may occur, and an increased ability to kill uninfected cancer cells may be acquired.[15,18,19,23,26,30,32,33,34,35,36,37,38] The immune system would use the same approaches to kill uninfected cancer cells that it uses to kill virus-infected cells. For example, it has been shown that TNF-alpha is directly cytotoxic to some, but not all, cancer cells, whereas normal cells are not harmed by this cytokine.[39,40,41,42]


    1. Nelson NJ: Scientific interest in Newcastle disease virus is reviving. J Natl Cancer Inst 91 (20): 1708-10, 1999.
    2. Csatary LK, Eckhardt S, Bukosza I, et al.: Attenuated veterinary virus vaccine for the treatment of cancer. Cancer Detect Prev 17 (6): 619-27, 1993.
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    11. Sinkovics JG, Howe CD: Superinfection of tumors with viruses. Experientia 25 (7): 733-4, 1969.
    12. Eaton MD, Levinthal JD, Scala AR: Contribution of antiviral immunity to oncolysis by Newcastle disease virus in a murine lymphoma. J Natl Cancer Inst 39 (6): 1089-97, 1967.
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    17. Lorence RM, Katubig BB, Reichard KW, et al.: Complete regression of human fibrosarcoma xenografts after local Newcastle disease virus therapy. Cancer Res 54 (23): 6017-21, 1994.
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    22. Sinkovics JG, Horvath JC: Newcastle disease virus (NDV): brief history of its oncolytic strains. J Clin Virol 16 (1): 1-15, 2000.
    23. Shoham J, Hirsch R, Zakay-Rones Z, et al.: Augmentation of tumor cell immunogenicity by viruses--an approach to specific immunotherapy of cancer. Nat Immun Cell Growth Regul 9 (3): 165-72, 1990.
    24. Csatary LK: Viruses in the treatment of cancer. Lancet 2 (7728): 825, 1971.
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    26. Schirrmacher V, Ahlert T, Heicappell R, et al.: Successful application of non-oncogenic viruses for antimetastatic cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Rev 5: 19-49, 1986.
    27. Cooper NR, Nemerow GR: The role of antibody and complement in the control of viral infections. J Invest Dermatol 83 (1 Suppl): 121s-127s, 1984.
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    32. Haas C, Ertel C, Gerhards R, et al.: Introduction of adhesive and costimulatory immune functions into tumor cells by infection with Newcastle Disease Virus. Int J Oncol 13 (6): 1105-15, 1998.
    33. Cassel WA, Murray DR: A ten-year follow-up on stage II malignant melanoma patients treated postsurgically with Newcastle disease virus oncolysate. Med Oncol Tumor Pharmacother 9 (4): 169-71, 1992.
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    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    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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