Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Washington University receives $3 million to design cancer-killing viruses

Igor Dmitriev, PhD

The illustration shows an adenovirus particle carrying metals and antibodies for cancer therapy. In this case, the metal is copper-64, a radioactive metal useful for both imaging and cancer therapy. Antibodies shown in orange and purple can target the virus to specific tissues or tumor types.
Igor Dmitriev, PhD

The illustration shows an adenovirus particle carrying metals and antibodies for cancer therapy. In this case, the metal is copper-64, a radioactive metal useful for both imaging and cancer therapy. Antibodies shown in orange and purple can target the virus to specific tissues or tumor types.

Abstract:
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop a triple threat in the fight against cancer: a single virus equipped to find, image and kill cancer cells, all at once.

Washington University receives $3 million to design cancer-killing viruses

St. Louis, MO | Posted on May 22nd, 2012

Led by David T. Curiel, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Radiation Oncology, the program will build on his group's expertise with adenovirus, a virus that causes the common cold and has shown promise in cancer therapeutics and imaging.
"This is a virus that we know a lot about," says Curiel, director of the Biologic Therapeutics Center at Washington University. "Our research seeks ways to use the virus like a nanoparticle and capitalize on all the unique capacities of the virus and our ability to manipulate it."

Developing a three-pronged attack on cancer cells is in line with the NCI's pursuit of a new paradigm in cancer research. Known as theragnostics, the concept is to combine therapy and diagnostics into one targeted attack on a specific cancer.

"We would like to understand the patient's biology and direct therapy on that basis," Curiel says. "And ideally, such a personalized treatment agent should include everything you would want it to do — it would be targeted specifically to the cancer and avoid healthy cells, it would deliver therapeutic drugs, and it would have a method to image the tumor to monitor the outcome of therapy."

According to Curiel, there is a focus on nanoparticles in this three-part theragnostic tool. Similar in size to viruses, nanoparticles are also heavily studied for their anti-cancer possibilities. But Curiel argues that viruses have some advantages over nanoparticles. Unlike nanoparticles that serve only as passive carriers, viruses have DNA, which offers another layer of cancer fighting or imaging potential.

"With a virus, we can alter its genes so that it expresses a protein that could be used against the cancer, or a protein that might enable us to image the tumor," Curiel says.

And like a nanoparticle, a virus can be modified to carry different molecules, drugs and metals on its surface. Previous work by Curiel and others has identified certain proteins that would target the virus to specific tissues in the body and even specific tumor types.

In addition to targeting, Curiel and his collaborators at Louisiana State University have developed a novel way to attach heavy metals to the surface of viruses so they are visible to non-invasive X-ray imaging. In a study published in PLoS ONE last year, they demonstrated the ability to use CT scans to track the location of these metal-carrying viruses in mice.

Beyond imaging, the metal-binding viruses could also carry radioactive metals that deliver radiation therapy directly to the cancer cells while sparing healthy ones.

"Within the cancer world, this idea of theragnostics is something of a holy grail," Curiel says. "It's an idea that has preceded the technology. With this grant, we hope to make inroads in developing a cancer therapeutic that accomplishes all of these targeting, treating and imaging goals."

The grant "Targeted- and Image-Based Adenovirus Cancer Therapeutic Vectors" is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Grant 1R01CA154697-01A1.

Mathis JM, Bhatia S, Khandelwal A, Kovesdi I, Lokitz SJ, Odaka Y, Takalkar AM, Terry T, Curiel DT. Genetic incorporation of human metallothionein into the adenovirus protein IX for non-invasive SPECT imaging. PLoS ONE. February 2011.

####

About Washington University
Washington University School of Medicine’s 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals. The School of Medicine is one of the leading medical research, teaching and patient care institutions in the nation, currently ranked sixth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Julia Evangelou Strait
Senior Medical Sciences Writer
(314) 286-0141

Copyright © Washington University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Continuous roll-process technology for transferring and packaging flexible LSI August 29th, 2016

Imaging

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

New approach to determining how atoms are arranged in materials August 25th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

New approach to determining how atoms are arranged in materials August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

Nanomedicine

Designing ultrasound tools with Lego-like proteins August 29th, 2016

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

Announcements

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

University of Akron researchers find thin layers of water can become ice-like at room temperature: Results could lead to an assortment of anti-friction solutions August 30th, 2016

Nanocatalysis for organic chemistry: This research article by Dr. Qien Xu et al. is published in Current Organic Chemistry, Volume 20, Issue 19, 2016 August 30th, 2016

Meteorite impact on a nano scale August 29th, 2016

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Graphene key to growing 2-dimensional semiconductor with extraordinary properties August 30th, 2016

A nanoscale wireless communication system via plasmonic antennas: Greater control affords 'in-plane' transmission of waves at or near visible light August 27th, 2016

Forces of nature: Interview with microscopy innovators Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber August 26th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Research partnerships

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

New theory could lead to new generation of energy friendly optoelectronics: Researchers at Queen's University Belfast and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have created a new theoretical framework which could help physicists and device engineers design better optoelectronics August 23rd, 2016

A new way to display the 3-D structure of molecules: Metal-organic frameworks provide a new platform for solving the structure of hard-to-study samples August 21st, 2016

Researchers watch catalysts at work August 19th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic