Virus use in cancer treatment

Oncolytic viruses (OV) are proving to have enormous potential in targeted attacks on tumour cells, while at the same time sparing healthy tissue. However, there are some challenges in developing OVs for treating disease. For instance, many types of cancer are resistant to virus infection.

“We are delighted that the Vissing Foundation is supporting our research project. The primary objective in our research is to gain an in-depth understanding of the use of ​​viruses in cancer treatment, through both basic research and pre-clinical trials. The effectiveness of cancer treatment varies considerably, according to whether tissue is treated in vitro, or whether patients themselves are treated,” explains Emilia Holm, a research-year student at Aarhus University Department of Biomedicine.

New models are necessary, therefore, to be able to assess the effect of approaches to treatment in relevant patient-derived tissue models.

“In this project we are proposing to implement a new approach, which has never previously been reported in Denmark, with a view to evaluation of the therapeutic potential of oncolytic virus, primarily in sections of tumour tissue from humans. This method will be unique, because no other group in Europe is using it at present. Trials of pharmaco-viral therapies directly in living cancer tissue could also make it easier to implement ​​oncolytic viral therapy as a future form of treatment in Europe, and at the same time renew hope for patients whose treatments have failed,” says Emilia Holm.