Harnessing Viruses to Treat Cancer

Mayo Clinic is targeting cancer on the molecular level - by changing the genetic makeup of diseased cells. Gene therapy changes the DNA of cancer cells so that they die, while virus therapy uses the destructive power of viruses to kill cancer cells. "Viruses are professional gene delivery vehicles," said Dr. Stephen Russell, leader of the Gene and Virus Therapy Program of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "We're now able to harness that."

The program has used several unique research techniques to study gene and virus therapy in the treatment of cancer, and is conducting clinical trials to test the therapy's effectiveness in humans.

Gene and Virus Therapy Program