The long-term goal of our lab is to develop novel therapeutics based on replication-competent viruses for cancer therapy, focusing on ovarian cancer and multiple myeloma.
We are currently working on the oncolytic measles virus (Edmonston strain) and vesicular stomatitis virus (Indiana strain). These viruses are tumor selective and have promising antitumor activity.
Our expertise is in clinical translation of these novel therapeutics into the clinic and the first of our recombinant measles virus, genetically modified to express a soluble marker peptide for non-invasive monitoring of viral gene expression (MV-CEA), has recently completed clinical testing.
Projects currently are underway in the following areas:
- Developing tumor-specific measles viruses and vesicular stomatitis viruses such that they are retargeted to the tumor vasculature. The goal is to enhance virus delivery to tumors and therapeutic outcome.
- Enhancing the potency of oncolytic virotherapy by using tumor homing mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) as carriers for delivery of viruses. Results have been promising demonstrating equivalent efficacy in animals with or without pre-existing antimeasles antibodies. A phase I clinical trial testing MSC as carriers of measles virus is planned.
Understanding the recruitment of monocytes into tumors, their polarization into various subsets of tumor associated macrophages and their impact on drug or virus therapy.
- Developing hydroxyapatite based nanoparticles for drug and gene delivery.