WHAT IS ONCOLYTIC VIROTHERAPY?
Oncolytic Virotherapy is an exciting, increasingly recognized discipline in cancer research. Oncolytic viruses refer to those viruses that are able to eliminate malignancies by direct targeting and lysis (killing) of cancer cells within the tumor, leaving non-cancerous cells unharmed. Oncolytic viruses by definition have a natural attraction to cancer cells (tropism), though their safety profile in patients, selectivity and replication competence vary significantly by type and strain of virus.
Although the connection between viruses and cancer regression was recognized in the early 20th century, it wasn’t until the recent development of advanced genetic engineering techniques that true progress has been made using virotherapy to attack and destroy cancer cells. Today, researchers can modify existing viruses to create new oncolytic viruses that can be adapted to insert and express cancer-suppressing genes and diagnostic proteins.
Preclinical and clinical trials evaluating a range of novel genetically engineered oncolytic viruses have reported very encouraging results. Genelux believes vaccinia is the best-suited oncolytic virus for human cancer therapy and for this reason has developed a broadly applicable, attenuated (Lister strain) vaccinia virus-based platform technology for its novel oncolytic cancer therapies and diagnostics.