Treating cancer as an infectious disease-viral antigens as novel targets for treatment and potential prevention of tumors of viral etiology

Xing Guo Wang, Ekaterina Revskaya, Ruth A. Bryan, Howard D. Strickler, Robert D. Burk, Arturo Casadevall, Ekaterina Dadachova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Background. Nearly 20% of human cancers worldwide have an infectious etiology with the most prominent examples being hepatitis B and C virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma and human papilloma virus-associated cervical cancer. There is an urgent need to find new approaches to treatment and prevention of virus-associated cancers. Metholdology/principal Findings. Viral antigens have not been previously considered as targets for treatment or prevention of virus-associated cancers. We hypothesized that it was possible to treat experimental HPV16-associated cervical cance. (CC) and Hipatitis B-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by targeting viral antigens expressed on cancer cells with radiolabeled antibodies to viral antigens. Treatment of experimental CC and HCC tumors with 188Re-labeled mAbs to E6 and HBx viral proteins, respectively resulted in significant and dose-dependent retardation of tumor growth in comparison with untreated mice or mice treated with unlabeled antibodies. Conclusions/Significance. This strategy is fundamentally different from the prior uses of radioimmunotherapy in ontology, which targeted tumor-associated human antigens and promises increased specificity and minimal toxicity of treatment. It also raises an exciting possibility to prevent virus-associated cancers in chronically infected patients by eliminating cells infected with oncogenic viruses before they transform into cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1114
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 31 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this