Stem Cells as Producers of Oncolytic Virus
The central concept associated with these investigations involves the use of viruses that have been modified for selective infection and destruction of tumor cells. This approach has been used by numerous investigators for several years, but with limited success to date. A major contributing factor associated with the limited success is insufficient spread of viruses throughout tumor, such that many tumor cells do not take in the virus. To address this limitation, MBTI investigators are using human stem cells, which have the ability to migrate over considerable distances in the brain, as producers of an oncolytic virus that infects and destroys any residual tumor that remains after surgical resection of tumor bulk. A clinical trial for testing this therapeutic approach is ongoing at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.