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We blog about science from our own lab, and labs around the world!

By stojdllab, Dec 21 2015 07:14PM

In a cool new study released from the Mayo clinic, oncolytic vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was infused into mice with myeloma that had either just exercised (high blood pressure; 'EX') or were anaesthetised (low blood pressure; 'ISO').

Mice that had a higher blood pressure during intravenous perfusion showed a greater density of virus reaching the tumour site. Virus was also spread across the tumour in a more uniform pattern.

The mice receiving virus treatment at a higher blood pressure also had a significantly longer survival time (see graphs above; top=survival curves, bottom=individual tumour sizes).

These results have potential positive implications for patients undergoing oncolytic viroimmunotherapy, since raising the blood pressure is easily achieved prior to virus infusion without the need for additional drugs or interventions.

Image: Miller et al 2015

By stojdllab, Jul 7 2015 07:19PM

A leading Ontario cancer researcher, Professor David Stojdl, has received $200,000 in funding from the BioCanRx network. This funding will support the clinical development of a new virus biotherapy to treat patients with the devastating brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).

Dr. Stojdl's lab, located at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa, has developed a new approach to GBM therapy in collaboration with scientists at McMaster University and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. This approach uses cancer-killing "oncolytic" viruses as tools to harness a patient's own immune cells to fight their tumour. This immune activation is critically important, as patients whose tumours are packed with immune cells have a much better prognosis. These viruses have proven extremely safe in the brain and effective at dealing with issues that frustrate current GBM therapies.

Dr. Stojdl's project, funded by BioCanRx, will custom build a single virus designed to activate immune cell populations that are already established at unprecendented levels in the majority of individuals. Almost all GBM patients in Canada will be eligible for this therapy. The virus will also be designed to act as a beacon to guide these activated immune cells to the tumour site.

The BioCanRx program was established as a new Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) in December 2014, and is funded by the Government of Canada, and several industrial and charitable partners. BioCanRx is designed to incubate the top Canadian research in biotherapeutics, including virus-, antibody- and immune cell-based therapies, and is structured to ensure that the very best ideas funnel up through conception to testing to clinical trials in patients.

You can find out more about the Stojdl lab on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube.

By stojdllab, Apr 28 2014 04:21PM

While working to optimise the high throughput screening methods needed for our oncolytic vaccinia virus genome mining project, Kris produced this mathematically-pristine lattice graph showing how the expression levels of vaccinia virus proteins increase (vertical axis) as the number of virus particles per cell increase (individual coloured lines) as time progresses (horizontal axis).

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