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Cancer Health Center

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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.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14] Further, several of these studies suggest that lytic strains of NDV are also oncolytic, and one study has demonstrated that expression of the RAC1 gene is necessary for NDV replication.[15]

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Many of the medical and scientific terms used in this summary are found in the NCI Dictionary of Genetics Terms. When a linked term is clicked, the definition will appear in a separate window. Creating evidence-based summaries on cancer genetics is challenging because the rapid evolution of new information often results in evidence that is incomplete or of limited quality. In addition, established methods for evaluating the quality of the evidence are available for some, but not all, aspects of...

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Lytic strain 73-T has been shown to replicate efficiently in human tumor cells [16] 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]. It killed normal human lung fibroblasts in vitro at the same rate that it killed cancer cells.[8] However, this strain did not kill human B-cell lymphoma (i.e., Burkitt lymphoma) cells in vitro[8] and did not kill normal, proliferating human white blood cells or normal human skin fibroblasts in vitro.[3,6,8]

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

Overall, these results suggest that the lytic strains of NDV replicate well in some types of normal cells and replicate poorly in some types of cancer cells. These data and the absence of serious illness in individuals infected with NDV [1,2,3,10,13,17,18,19,20,21,22]) are consistent with the view that NDV may replicate 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,"[23] "rat F98 glioblastoma cells,"[24] and "mouse Ehrlich ascites carcinoma").[25]

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