Washington Researchers Land $3M to Develop Imaging Virus

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Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis believe they have developed a novel approach to fighting cancer that could go viral--and they've already got a $3 million buy-in from the National Cancer Institute.

By combining therapy and diagnostic imaging into a new approach called theragnostics, a team led by David Curiel, MD, PhD, is fine tuning the common cold virus into something that can "find, image and kill cancer cells, all at once," according to a press release.

“Our research seeks ways to use the virus like a nanoparticle and capitalize on all the unique capacities of the virus and our ability to manipulate it,” Curiel said in a statement. "Ideally, such a personalized treatment agent should include everything you would want it to do — it would be targeted specifically to the cancer and avoid healthy cells, it would deliver therapeutic drugs, and it would have a method to image the tumor to monitor the outcome of therapy.”