Targeted and Biological Therapies Group
We work on anti-cancer (‘oncolytic’) viruses for the treatment of cancer. Our focus is on translational research, spanning laboratory studies through to early clinical trials, to provide an iterative ‘bench to bedside and back again’ platform to develop novel treatments for cancer patients.
Oncolytic viruses target tumour cells by direct cell killing and stimulation of an anti-tumour immune response. These agents include reovirus, herpes virus and vaccinia virus, all of which have reached the stage of testing in large clinical trials. We use pre-clinical murine and human model systems, including fresh tissue and blood samples collected from cancer patients, to test the potential of a range of clinical grade viruses as direct cytotoxics against cancer, and as immune ‘danger’ signals to stimulate a therapeutic innate and adaptive immune response.
Within our larger group several researchers focus specifically on brain tumours. In parallel with laboratory studies we conduct clinical trials with oncolytic viruses, including translational, Phase Ib studies to answer biological questions in patients, including the fate of intravenous virus following systemic administration, and the effects of the virus on the interaction between tumour and host immunity.