Foot-And-Mouth-Disease Virus Could Help Target the Deadliest Cancer

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The foot-and-mouth-disease virus is helping UK scientists to tackle pancreatic cancer.

The foot-and-mouth-disease virus is helping UK scientists to tackle pancreatic cancer.

Researchers at Queen Mary University of London have identified a peptide, or protein fragment, taken from the foot-and-mouth-disease virus that targets another protein, called avĪ²6 (alpha-v-beta-6). This protein is found at high levels on the surface of the majority of pancreatic cancer cells.

Working jointly with Spirogen (now part of AstraZeneca) and ADC Therapeutics, the team have used the peptide to carry a highly potent drug, called tesirine, to the pancreatic cancer cells. When mice with pancreatic cancer tumours were treated with the drug and peptide combination, the tumours were completely killed.

The study, published in Theranostics, was funded by the UK medical research charity Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund.

Read more at Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund

Image: Professor John Marshall, Queen Mary University of London (Credit: Cancer Research UK)