Oncolytic viruses put a Chk on cancer growth
London – Cells normally boost expression of Checkpoint Kinase 1 (Chk1), to block cell division after DNA damage has occurred in their nucleus. Researchers headed by Iain McNeish from the Queen Mary University of London have now found out that sensitivity to oncolytic virus infection in ovarian cancer cells correlates with the extent of cell cycle dysregulation and DNA damage. They demonstrated that blocking of Chk1 increased the level of DNA damage following viral infection in cancer cells, and boosted the ability of the virus to kill cancer cells.According to the group, the findings may translate into clinical medicine, suggesting to combine oncolytic viruses with Chk1 inhibitors. Recently, researchers showed that oncolytic viruses produce cytokines that trigger an immune response against tumour cells.