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Oncolytic virus therapy in the treatment of melanoma

Kevin Harrington, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR, FRCP, PhD from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK discusses the development of oncolytic virus therapy in the treatment of melanoma at the European Cancer Congress of the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) 2017 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. There are a range of different viruses, known as oncolytic viruses, that have been shown to grow in tumor cells effectively in the lab, but are unable to grow in normal cells. These are now being developed as a treatment, and have also been found to activate the immune system. Talimogene laherparepvec is the leading agent in this field, and was recently approved by the FDA and EMA for the treatment of melanoma. Further research is currently being carried out to further improve these agents.