Using Viruses to Treat Cancer

Duration: 57:50 | 11 November 2015
Prof Kevin Harrington

Prof Kevin Harrington explored the potential for selected viruses to be used to kill cancer cells with increased patient benefit.

There are a range of viruses that are able to grow in and kill cancerous, but not normal, cells. These ‘oncolytic viruses’ are now being considered as potential targeted therapies for a range of different cancers. There has been a huge increase in clinical trials involving oncolytic virotherapy and the regulatory steps involved in activating new studies are now relatively straightforward – accelerating the development of new viral treatments. For the first time it has been shown that virus therapy can improve outcomes, compared to a control treatment, in patients with advanced melanomas.

About the Speaker
Prof Kevin Harrington is Professor in Biological Cancer Therapies at The Institute of Cancer Research and a Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. He specialises in developing new treatments using viruses that selectively destroy cancer cells. Having joined the ICR in 2001 as Targeted Therapy Team Leader within the Section of Cell and Molecular Biology, much of his laboratory work is immediately translated into clinical trials at the Royal Marsden, which allows him to conduct innovative laboratory research and apply it in the clinical setting, achieving ‘real patient benefit’.

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