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Viruses May Kill Cancer Cells
April 30, 2014 00:56


Viruses that kill cancer cells to be developed in the first laboratory of microbiology and virology at the other side of Urals.

Its opening was held at the Novosibirsk State University. "The idea of using viruses for cancer therapy appeared long time ago, even before chemotherapy. It has been observed that during many viral human diseases happens a spontaneous regression of cancer, but it was unclear how it happens, the head of the laboratory  Doctor of Biology, Pyotr Chumakov said. - Moreover, viruses are pathogenic themselves."

"A tumor cell is vulnerable to viruses: it does not have virus protection. Therefore, if the virus is pathogenic, it can be used to destroy cancer cells," the scientist said. "In the laboratory we will study how much the virus is pathogenic for tumors and how wide range of actions it has. In addition, we are going to develop special strains of viruses that will have enhanced oncolytic properties due to the introduction of specific therapeutic genes," continued the scientist.

Also, there will be developed technologies of embedding protector genes into oncolytic virus genomes, which would disable the virus at any time, if it is no longer needed in the body or has unwanted effects. According to the scientist, such studies are an inexhaustible source for creating new classes of anticancer medicines.

Mr. Chumakov said that, for now the work will be carried out with non-pathogenic enterovirus and some vaccine strains. "We are developing a large range of products aimed at a wide range of oncologic diseases: breast, colon, brain and lung cancers," Mr. Chumakov said. He noted that, such tests are conducted in many countries, while in China and Latvia there have already been created drugs based on oncolytic viruses, but their action is focused on melanoma treatment. Novosibirsk laboratory was established in the framework of the government's mega-grant and cost 50 million rubles. They considered all the world requirements for biosafety, despite the fact that works are carried out with viruses safe for humans. 

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Novosibirsk State University     

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