BioPharm International - September 2022

BioPharm International - September 2022

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10 BioPharm International ® Emerging Therapies 2022 eBook T here are many avenues that researchers can—and do—pursue in the hopes of finding treatments for a given disease, condition, or disorder. One of those av- enues is the research of oncolytic viruses to treat cancer. BioPharm International spoke with Boris Minev, president, medical and scientific affairs, Calidi Biotherapeutics, about how oncolytic vi- ruses can be harnessed for use in treatments, how stem cells are utilized, how oncolytic viruses com- pare to other methods of treatment on the market today, and challenges encountered during devel- opment and manufacturing. Oncoly tic viruses: an overview B io Pharm: You r c om p a ny d e ve lops a l loge ne ic therapeutics in which oncolytic viruses are housed within stem cells to treat cancer. To start, what are oncoly tic v ir uses, and how do t hese v ir uses have t he potentia l to be used to treat cancers? Minev: Oncolytic viruses selectively infect and multi- ply inside cancer cells. They use a variety of mechanisms to target and infect cells, which often involve recogniz- ing a molecular marker of a cell's uncontrolled growth or ability to evade homeostatic checks and balances. While oncolytic viruses occur in nature, many have been modified in the lab to carry specific mutations that make them target and kill cancer cells more effectively, which improves their safety profile and increases their thera- peutic potential. Oncolytic viruses have great potential to be har- nessed to treat cancers because they replicate within tumor cells in a targeted fashion, leaving healthy cells unharmed. Oncolytic virus therapy is espe- cially potent because it kills cancer cells in two ways. First, the oncolytic virus selectively infects and rep- licates within the cancer cells at the tumor site, caus- ing them to burst. Second, this cellular debris and viral antigens activate the patient's immune system, triggering it to seek and destroy cancer cells near and Treating Cancer with Oncolytic Viruses Meg Rivers, senior editor Research into oncolytic viruses shows promise for treating cancer. PINKEYES - STOCK.ADOBE.COM

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