2017 Researcher Tommy Alain

"Characterization of a New Pharmaco-Viral Approach for the Treatment of Brain Cancer"

Tommy Alain
Scientist – Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (CHEO RI)
Assistant professor – University of Ottawa

Project Summary:

Tommy Alain - 2017 Research Grant Recipient

Brain tumours, particularly glioblastoma multiforme, have limited therapeutic options. New therapies are needed against this almost universally fatal cancer. 

In recent years, scientists have developed approaches that involve the use of common viruses to reactivate the immune system within patients to enable it to recognize and eliminate cancer cells. 

In our laboratory, we are testing the ability of the herpes simplex virus (HSV1) to infect various cancer cell types. Recently, we have identified a chemical anti-cancer agent that dramatically enhances the ability of the virus to propagate inside brain cancer cells but not inside normal cells. 

In this study, we propose to investigate how this agent works to promote the replication of this virus. Understanding this process we believe will provide valuable insight for the development of HSV1-based anti-cancer therapeutics.
 

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