Research ArticleCancer

Repurposing rotavirus vaccines for intratumoral immunotherapy can overcome resistance to immune checkpoint blockade

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Science Translational Medicine  23 Oct 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 515, eaat5025
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat5025

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Repurposing a pediatric vaccine

Attenuated virus vaccines such as those used to protect against influenza or chickenpox have already passed manufacturing and regulatory hurdles. Given that many viruses have anticancer properties, Shekarian et al. reasoned that existing vaccines for infectious disease may be useful for treating cancer. They tested several vaccines in vitro and saw that rotavirus vaccines activated NF-κB in a human cell line and were protective against a tumor model resistant to immune checkpoint blockade. Further study of live or inactivated rotavirus strains in multiple tumor models showed RIG-I activation and durable immunity, especially when combined with other immunotherapies. These studies indicate that rotavirus vaccines already in production and circulation could be considered as anticancer agents.

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