Herbert Zeh, MD, FACS
University of Pittsburgh
Replication competent vaccinia virus for treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Our group is exploring the use of gene therapy techniques to engineer viruses to stimulate the immune system to fight pancreatic cancer. In this proposal we will modify a vaccinia virus (similar to the virus used to immunize against smallpox) to produce hormones that attract a certain kind of tumor fighting immune cell called T cells to the sites of tumor.
We have already administered a similar virus to patients and found that it is able to be delivered through the blood stream safely, travel to sites of tumor and infect the tumor cells. We have also shown that a special way to stimulate the immune system to generate tumor fighting T cells called aDC1 is effective in patients with a very aggressive kind of brain tumor.
In this study we will combine these two approaches (stimulate T cells with aDC1 and attract them to the tumor with the vaccinia virus) in patient who have pancreatic cancer. There are several clinical trials examining immunotherapy for pancreatic cancer in progress at this time, we believe our approach will be a significant improvement on current trials.
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Herbert J. Zeh III, M.D.
UT Southwestern Medical Center
University Hospital Medical & Surgical Oncology Clinic – Pancreatic Multidisciplinary Program
Seay Biomedical Building
2201 Inwood Road, 5th Floor, Suite 920
Dallas, Texas 75390