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Oncolytic Viruses in Rhabdomyosarcoma Treatment

Introduction to Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common form of soft tissue sarcoma accounting for 5% of all cases of cancers in children and adolescents. It can occur either as a primary malignancy or as a component of a heterogeneous malignancy, such as a malignant teratomatous tumor. Derived from primitive mesenchymal stem cells directed towards myogenesis, RMS can arise in a variety of anatomic sites throughout the body, including but not limited to head and neck, genitourinary tract, and trunk. In general, the presentation of RMS is site-dependent. Diagnosis of RMS often needs both open incisional biopsy and image-guided core needle (Tru-Cut) biopsies.

Treatment for Rhabdomyosarcoma

Treatment with RMS focuses on achieving "local control" and "systemic control". Local control refers to the permanent eradication of the "primary tumor". Systemic control refers to the permanent control of invisible "micrometastases" or visible "metastases". To achieve this goal, RMS is treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy drugs are given in the hospital to kill cancer cells everywhere. Radiation is a series of x-ray treatments given to kill cancer cells in a specific area. Surgery is intended to remove entire cancer, part of it, or for diagnosis by obtaining a biopsy of the lump or an involved lymph node. However, how each type of treatment helps to cure this cancer is unclear.

Oncolytic virus-mediated primary and secondary tumor cell lysis. Fig.1 Oncolytic virus-mediated primary and secondary tumor cell lysis. (Masemann, 2017)

Oncolytic Viral Therapy for Rhabdomyosarcoma

Reference

  1. Masemann, D.; et al. Employing RNA viruses to fight cancer: novel insights into oncolytic virotherapy. Biological chemistry. 2017, 398(8), pp.891-909.

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