Cancer-killing viruses can be used to treat limb sarcomas if delivered using a special technique which allows the treatment to be given straight to the affected area. However, although this treatment can prevent a tumour from growing, it cannot prevent it from spreading through the body. This project is looking at ways to combine this technique with drugs which activate the body’s immune system, with the aim of developing a treatment that can prevent both growth and spread of these soft tissue sarcomas.
Combination immunotherapy with immune checkpoint inhibition and oncolytic vaccinia virus delivered by isolated limb perfusion (ILP) to target metastases in extremity soft tissue sarcoma
Soft tissue sarcomas are rare cancers commonly affecting the limbs. In most patients, treatment involves surgical removal of the cancer. Isolated limb perfusion (ILP) is a surgical technique that may be used when patients have a large tumours or had previous surgery. ILP delivers high-dose anti-cancer drugs to an affected limb whilst avoiding life-threatening side effects throughout the body. Research has found that adding cancer-killing viruses to ILP (OV-ILP) improved how long the treatment kept the tumour from growing, neither ILP or OV-ILP treatment prevent tumour spread.
The immune system plays a major role in the development of cancer, with many tumours able to switch off the immune system from attacking tumour cells.
This project looks at whether standard ILP and OV-ILP alters the number and type of immune cells within a tumour. It will also look at whether combining OV-ILP with other drugs that activate the immune system is an effective strategy to treat or prevent tumour spread in patients with extremity soft tissue sarcoma.