2022-029 – Combining Oncolytic Therapy and Inflammatory Cytokine Blockade

Current treatments used for various types of cancer tend to work by poisoning or killing the cancerous cells. Despite their success against cancerous cells, these treatments also tend to be toxic to healthy cells. Mainstream cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy are generally used within a narrow therapeutic window of toxicity. Due to the varying types of tumor cells and the limited window in which these treatments can be administered, there is limited applicability. Modern anticancer therapies currently being developed attempt to selectively target tumor cells while being less toxic to healthy cells. A combination of immune checkpoint inhibitors and oncolytic viral treatments have helped to move towards higher efficacy and lower toxicity to the healthy cells; however, there still exists an unmet need for inhibiting immune checkpoints and improving cancer treatment.

Technology Description:
A researcher in the Internal Medicine Division of Molecular Medicine at the University of New Mexico has combined a virotherapeutic agent and an inflammatory cytokine inhibitor to increase the efficacy of viral treatments. The virotherapeutic agent can be an oncolytic virus in the treatment of a tumor. The virotherapeutic agent induces localized inflammation which leads to the development of anti-tumor immune responses. While this inflammation has historically been viewed as a positive event in tumor immunology new data shows that the inhibition of specific aspects of this inflammatory using cytokine inhibitors in combination with oncolytic virotherapy increases therapeutic efficacy of the treatment against tumors while also decreasing immune-related side-effects. This combination therapy can therefore be used to help treat various forms of cancer that are non-responsive to single anti-tumor therapy. Additionally, numerous FDA-approved inflammatory cytokine blocking reagents already exist enhancing the acute translation of this proposed combination treatment.




  • Enhanced efficacy of viral treatments
  • Improved safety of tumor regression treatment
  • Ability to take advantage of programmed cell death offered by virotherapeutic agents

Potential Applications:

  • Cancer Treatment
    • Melanoma, Kidney Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Brain Cancer, Leukemia, Prostate Cancer, Pediatric Tumors, Bladder Cancer, Ovarian Cancer

Additional Information:




UNM Rainforest Innovations has filed intellectual property on this exciting new technology and is currently exploring commercialization options. If you are interested in information about this or other technologies, please contact Arlene Young at ayoung@innovations.unm.edu or 505-272-7886.

About UNM Rainforest Innovations
As the technology-transfer and economic-development organization for the University of New Mexico, UNM Rainforest Innovations protects and commercializes technologies developed at the University of New Mexico (UNM) by filing patents and copyrights and transferring the technologies to the marketplace. We connect the business community (companies, entrepreneurs, and investors) to these UNM technologies for licensing opportunities and the creation of startup companies. Visit http://innovations.unm.edu/

Contact Information:

Name: Gregg Benninger

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Email: GBanninger@innovations.unm.edu

Phone: 505-272-7908

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