Genetically altered virus tracks down early tumors - Cincinnati Children's Blog

Genetically altered virus tracks down early tumors

Cincinnati Children’s scientists have genetically re-engineered a herpes virus to track down early stage cancers and prompt tumor cells to secrete a detectable biomarker that reveals their presence.

The research, published in the online journal PLoS (Public Library of Science) One, was covered by Scientific American.

Timothy Cripe, MD, the cancer physician and research scientist who was senior investigator on the study, says the findings in mice show significant promise for a novel technology to diagnose certain cancers earlier. The altered virus, rQ-M38G, also may cause tumors to shrink, researchers report in the study.

 If the technology can be developed into a plausible diagnostic for people, it could allow earlier, faster and cheaper cancer diagnosis, says Dr. Cripe, who is co-medical director of the Office for Clinical and Translational Research and director of Pilot and Collaborative Studies in the Center for Clinical and Translational Research and Training.

The story in Scientific American offers a good summary of the study findings and their potential implications.

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Nick Miller

About the Author: Nick Miller

Nick is the science writer at Cincinnati Children’s and a former journalist. A newspaper reporter and editor for 20 years, Miller developed a knack for writing about cops, criminals, courts, the environment, and – of all things – decommissioning nuclear weapons plants. Miller left journalism to become a media relations and communications manager in the aviation industry. The career change was just in time for him to personally experience one of the worst industry downturns in the history of powered flight. His focus today is uncovering and telling stories about the amazing science coming out of the research laboratories of Cincinnati Children’s. He thinks the world should know more about the work of the medical center’s dedicated scientists – people who spend countless hours pursuing the discoveries of today, which may become the cures of tomorrow. When not haunting the halls of the research foundation, Nick spends his time preserving historic buildings and neighborhoods. He also works with local organizations trying to build bicycle/pedestrian trails, preserve green space and promote active lifestyles

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