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Environmental safety evaluation of host range-modified oncolytic viruses: pivotal studies on reovirus and Newcastle disease virus

Project nummer 
Deelnemende kennisinstellingen 
Prof. dr. R.A.M. FouchierErasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
Erasmus MC
Department of Viroscience
Type project 
1 februari 2017
31 januari 2022
Onderzoeksprogramma I&W Biotechnologie en Veiligheid

Viro-immunotherapy is a promising approach in cancer therapy in which genetically modified oncolytic viruses (OVs) are administered to patients with hitherto untreatable aggressive cancers. The assessment of the environmental safety of these agents is of crucial importance before their clinical application can be considered. Information on the distribution, shedding, and survival of the OVs in the environment is therefore essential for assessing the potential risks. Our study will provide data on two candidate human and animal OVs (i.e. RV and NDV) for which biological traits were modified in order to increase their oncolytic potential. Our studies will serve as a paradigm for data acquisition on both human and non-human genetically modified replication-competent viruses. This should aid the development of a rational scheme for assessment of biological parameters to be used in a formal environmental risk assessment of significantly modified OVs for clinical application.