New research suggests that drugs which block the growth of new blood vessels in tumours may boost the effectiveness of cancer-killing viruses.
The viruses are viewed as a promising form of cancer treatment for brain tumours, but their effectiveness is limited as the body's immune system quickly destroys them.
However, researchers believe that by blocking the growth of blood vessels in the tumour with an 'antiangiogenic' agent, it may be possible to give the viruses more time to kill cancer cells.
Principal investigator Balveen Kaur commented: "Our work suggests that antiangiogenic agents can reduce virus-induced inflammation in brain-tumour tissue and improve the anti-tumour efficacy of virus therapy by lengthening the time it takes the immune system to clear the virus.
"Much additional work is needed to validate these findings in other tumour models, but we hope that our findings will eventually be translated into clinical trials and one day help patients," the scientist added.
The study was conducted by experts at Ohio State University and is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.