Yuman Fong, M.D.
Re-engineering Viruses (Nature’s Replicating Nanoparticle) for Killing of Cancer
City of Hope Medical Center
Chairman, Department of Surgery
Associate Director, International Affairs
Many viral types including vaccinia virus, herpes simplex virus, Newcastle Disease virus, and measles virus have recently been genetically engineered to be very specific in infecting, replicating within, and killing cancers cells. This field of oncolytic viral cancer therapy is an extremely promising area of active investigation in man. Viral agents are attractive partly because they target tumor cell characteristics responsible for resistance to chemotherapy. Such oncolytic viruses can also be used to be vehicles for transferring genes coding molecules that can increase sensitivity to radiation therapy, promote differentiation to slower growing phenotypes, increase immunogenicity of tumors, and many other functions that increase cancer killing. In this seminar, we will discuss the strategies for designing viruses for targeting and killing of cancers. The history of this field, as well as the current status of this area of gene therapy will be presented.