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Special Issue "Toxins and Cancer Therapy"
A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and is expected to become an increasing health, social, and economic burden over the coming decades as industrial lifestyles become more prevalent around the world. Approaches to cancer therapy have relied primarily on the selective toxicity of anticancer drugs. Indeed, more than 100 years ago, William Coley, a surgeon at Memorial Hospital in New York, was injecting patients with live bacteria and bacterial products to treat their cancers, often producing remarkable results, especially when treating sarcomas. “Coley’s Toxins” in their original form are no longer used, but the principles Coley began to uncover in the 1890s have evolved into our modern armamentarium for the treatment of cancer. The immunological mechanisms exploited by Coley and uncovered by a century of basic and clinical research have led to the development of remarkable new cancer immunotherapies—between 2015–2018 alone, 46 new cancer immunotherapy indications were approved by the US FDA. Moreover, while Coley’s treatments were often toxic, modern therapies selectively deliver toxic agents to tumors, using targeted radiotherapy, immunotoxins, and nanodelivery systems. Modern approaches even include bacterial enterotoxins, bacteria, and oncolytic viruses to prevent or treat cancer. Together, these therapies are transforming clinical cancer care, but their continued development and new discoveries are needed to ultimately address our growing need for safe and effective cancer therapies over the coming decades.
- Oncolytic viruses
The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.
CNF1 Variants Endowed with the Ability to Cross the Blood-Brain Barrier: A New Potential Therapeutic Strategy for Glioblastoma
Andrea Colarusso, Zaira Maroccia, Ermenegilda Parrilli, Elena Germinario, Maria Luisa Tutino,
Carla Fiorentini and Alessia Fabbri
Abstract: Gliomas are primary tumours occurring in the central nervous system that arise from glial cells. According to the recent World Health Organization classification, glioblastoma or glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is identified as WHO grade IV glioma and is the most common and aggressive malignant brain tumour, being highly invasive and not responsive to standard treatment regimen (surgical section, radio- and chemo-therapy). Therefore, the life expectancy after diagnosis is very poor, with a median survival of 15 months. We have previously shown that the Escherichia coli protein toxin CNF1 is remarkably effective as an anti-neoplastic agent in a mouse model of glioma, reducing the tumour volume, increasing the survival and maintaining the functional properties of peritumoural neurons. However, being unable to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), CNF1 requires to be directly injected into the brain, a very invasive administration route. Thus, to overcome this pitfall, we designed CNF1 variants characterised by the presence of N-terminal polycationic tags, known for their ability to address the Blood-Brains Barrier crossing when the chimera is intravenously injected. The variants were produced and we verified if their activity could overlap that of wild-type CNF1 in GMB cells. We investigated the signalling pathways engaged in the cell response to CNF1 variants with the aim of furnishing propaedeutic data to the subsequent studies in experimental animals. CNF1 may represent a novel avenue for glioma therapy particularly because, besides blocking tumour growth, also preserves the healthy surrounding tissue, maintaining its architecture and functionality. This renders CNF1 the most interesting candidate for the treatment of brain tumours, among other potentially effective bacterial toxins.
Botulinum Neurotoxins and Cancer
Shivam O Mittal M.D , Bahman Jabbari M.D, FAAN
Abstract: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) possess an analgesic effect through several mechanisms including inhibition of acetylcholine release from neuromuscular junction as well as inhibition of specific pain transmitters and mediators. This review provides an updated information on the effect of local botulinum toxin injection on local pain caused by cancer, pain at the site of cancer surgery and radiation. The data from literature suggests that local injection of botulinum toxins improves muscle spasms caused by cancerous mass lesions and alleviates the post-operative neuropathic pain at the site of surgery and radiation. A limited literature that claims adding botulinum toxins to cell culture slows /halts the growth of certain cancer cells is also reviewed and discussed.
Key words: Botulinum toxin, botulinum neurotoxin, cancer, cancer cells, neuropathic pain, post-surgical pain, post-radiation pain