Engineering viruses to target cancer

Dr Alan Parker

Dr Alan Parker


Dr Alan Parker and his team at Cardiff University are researching the effectiveness of special viruses that have been engineered to infect and kill ovarian cancer cells.

Normally, these viruses – known as adenoviruses – can cause coughs and colds. But by modifying these viruses to infect cancer cells instead of healthy cells, the team are exploring how an engineered virus could be used to target and kill cancer.
So far, the team has tested the virus on ovarian cancer cells that are resistant to chemotherapy. 

"In the lab, we’ve shown that this engineered virus has the ability to destroy tumour cells, leaving healthy tissue unharmed." 

Dr Parker believes that this type of treatment could also have the potential to be effective against other types of cancer, such as pancreatic and breast cancer in the future.