Researching the cures


Dr Yaohe Wang

Dr Wang has adapted the vaccinia virus, used to treat smallpox, as a potential therapeutic for treating pancreatic cancer.

Project Title: Novel therapy for pancreatic cancer using a Lister strain
vaccinia virus armed with the therapeutic gene Interleukin-10

Research Aims: The current treatments for pancreatic cancer are relatively ineffective, even if the tumour is surgically resectable. Viruses that can infect and multiply selectively in cancer cells provide a new class of therapeutics for cancer treatment. We recently found that a particular vaccinia virus that has been used safely as a vaccine for prevention of smallpox in millions of human beings is very effective against this aggressive tumour in cell culturemodels. In order to increase further the antitumour potency, a novel vaccinia virus expressing a therapeutic molecule with multiple modes of anti-cancer activity (blocking new blood vessel formation, modulating the host immune response and inhibiting tumour growth) when it directly infects tumour cells, has been developed. This project is designed to verify the potential of this new therapeutic agent in preparation for a clinical trial in patients with pancreatic cancer.