Joseph Glorioso, III, MD, PhD: Turning Bad Guys into Good Guys

Years Funded: 2018-2020

Antigenic Stealthing of oHSV for Systemic Treatment of Melanoma
At the University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), Joseph Glorioso, III, MD, PhD, is pioneering creative new strategies to more safely and successfully target and triumph over melanoma and other metastatic cancers. His studies build on past successes in fighting solid tumors with viruses and a patient’s own immune system.

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Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD: Finding a Better Way

Years Funded: 2017-2020

RRV for Immunogenic Suicide Gene Therapy and Checkpoint Inhibition in Glioma
Noriyuki Kasahara, MD, PhD, and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Brain Tumor Center are exploring how to use genetically engineered viruses (known as vectors) to infect cancer cells. Once inside the cells, “suicide genes” delivered by these vectors enable a chemotherapy drug to be generated inside the infected cancer cell itself, which also in turn activates the immune system to attack and destroy glioblastoma and other brain tumors with very few adverse side effects.

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E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD: Adapting to the Changing Landscape of Cancer

Years Funded: 2008-2012

Development of an Oncolytic Virus with Prodrug-Activating Gene Therapy
To advance a novel strategy for engineering a virus to work in combination with a patient’s own immune system and the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (CPA), E. Antonio Chiocca, MD, PhD, completed important preclinical toxicity studies at The Ohio State University Research Foundation (Columbus, OH). His research determined the safety of this approach for fighting glioblastoma and generated the data necessary to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for permission to launch a phase one clinical trial.

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Maciej S. Lesniak, MD: Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Years Funded: 2007-2010

Development of a Novel Oncolytic Virus for Malignant Glioma
More than a decade ago, ACGT helped launch Maciej S. Lesniak, MD, onto an innovative research trajectory aimed at harnessing re-engineered cold virus to selectively infect and ultimately destroy cancer cells in the brain without harming other healthy cells.

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Miguel Sena Esteves, PhD: Taking an Engineering Approach to Biology

Years Funded: 2006-2009

Engineering the Brain Microenvironment for Brain Tumor Therapy
With a team at Massachusetts General Hospital (Charlestown, MA), Miguel Sena-Esteves, PhD, began a successful career exploring how to use a viral strategy to create a zone of resistance in the brain where normal tissue could be modified to prevent tumors from growing, and ultimately, to destroy them. His ACGT-funded studies demonstrated that adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors could do the job, but not without long-term toxicity consequences.

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