Manuel Ramirez: ”Once we have made the step from the laboratory to the patient, we must return to the laboratory for further progress”

The pediatrician and oncologist Manuel Ramírez explained at a conference in the past IDIBELL June 10 his clinical experience in children with solid tumors treated with the virus ICOVIR 5, designed by the research group on virotherapy of the IDIBELL led by Ramon Alemany, in the Unit of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology of the Hospital Niño Jesús in Madrid where he heads a research group for developing new therapies for children with cancer.
The ICOVIR 5 is a capable oncolytic adenovirus (infects and breaks down tumor cells.) “We do not apply directly the virus locally because we treat metastatic tumors” has explained Ramirez, “we use mesenchymal cells from the patient, grow them and we infect them with the virus and they vehicle the virus to the tumor area.” The treatment has no side effects in any case beyond fever. Referring to virotherapy results have been mixed: “Only in one case have we seen a complete remission of the tumor, while one patient has stabilized and in three the tumor has progressed.”
The next question asked is whether, in some cases, in addition to oncolisis it has also produced an antitumor immune response. And this question is one that takes Manuel Ramírez back to the lab: “We made the step of translational research from the laboratory to patient, but to continue moving forward we must return to the laboratory. In patients we cannot do tests to adjust dose or to check whether there really is this antitumor immune response. “

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