Our research develops anti-cancer viruses that are able to infect and kill cancer cells, while leaving normal cells unharmed. This approach exploits the natural life cycle of the virus, which lyses infected cells in order to release progeny virus particles, allowing the infection to spread from cell to cell through the tumour. The life cycle of some viruses, such as adenoviruses, is intimately dependent on the activities of the cells they infect, and this provides a range of opportunities to engineer viruses that are only active when they encounter the specific environment of a tumour cell.
Adenoviruses can be designed that are dependent on deregulated cell cycle, dysfunctional apoptosis pathways, enhanced glycolytic metabolism and many others. In this way the virus amplifies itself within the tumour, reaching high local concentrations and potentially infecting all tumour cells. In addition this 'oncolytic' type of cell killing is very inflammatory, providing the possibility to create an anti-cancer immune response. These agents are often known as ‘oncolytic vaccines’.
Finally our viruses can be 'armed' to encode additional therapeutic agents, to be expressed only within the tumour; this provides a simple and versatile approach to targeted cancer therapy using a range of potent biological agents.
University of Oxford Announces Opening of PanDox Phase 1 Study investigating Targeted Drug Delivery by Focused Ultrasound for Pancreatic Cancer
1 July 2021
The University of Oxford is pleased to announce commencement of enrollment for the Phase I PanDox study of thermosensitive liposomal doxorubicin triggered by focused ultrasound in patients with pancreatic cancer.
20 October 2020
Prof. Sibson together with her co-applicants Prof. Anthony, Dr Campbell and Prof. Middleton have now been awarded a second MRC DPFS grant, for £3.3 million, to acquire further preclinical data to support the case for clinical translation, to develop the mutTNF production for human use and to undertake pre-clinical toxicology.
20 September 2019
The Department of Oncology has signed up to collaborate with Crescendo Biologics Ltd (Crescendo), the drug developer of novel, targeted T cell enhancing therapeutics.