Professor Alan Melcher

Killing cancer with viruses

Professor Alan Melcher and his team at The Institute of Cancer Research are developing a new type of cancer therapy based on specially modified viruses. Instead of causing illness, these viruses can kill cancer cells. They can also trigger the body’s immune system to attack tumours, and are currently being tested in early-stage clinical trials to treat advanced skin cancer and brain tumours.

Professor Melcher and his team are investigating how to improve the ability of these viruses to kill cancer cells. They are also working on ways of boosting the number of cells in a patient’s bloodstream that can carry the virus to a tumour. And they’re testing the cancer-killing viruses in combination with other treatments, particularly radiotherapy and other immunotherapies, to see if this approach is more effective for patients.

Using the power of viruses and the immune system could lead to powerful new ways to fight cancer in the future.

Read more about Professor Melcher’s research and listen to a short interview on our blog.

All cancer types
Cancer biology
Clinical trials

The Institute of Cancer Research