Ilaria SALVATO

Development of innovative viruses with enhanced immunostimulatory activities against gliomas

Malignant brain tumors lack effective therapy. Recent advances in immunotherapy have revitalized the enthusiasm for an immunological approach to fight cancer. However, for brain tumors, results are still unsatisfactory, pointing to the need to improve available immunotherapies. A promising strategy is oncolytic immuno-virotherapy, as oncolytic viruses (OVs) selectively kill cancer cells and can elicit additional anti-tumor immune responses.
We aim to construct, optimize and produce innovative viral vectors based on adenovirus and adenovirus-oncolytic parvovirus chimera expressing CIITA, the major regulator of MHC class II expression. We anticipate that, by delivering CIITA in cancer cells, these new viruses will acquire more potent immunostimulatory activities as they will convert cancer cells into MHC-II-positive antigen presenting cells favouring TH-dependent anti-tumor immunity.

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