PhD graduation Vera Kemp

Not all viruses make you ill. Some viruses can even kill cancer cells. Vera Kemp defended her thesis on february 7th  2019. Her work focuses on reovirus, an example of such an oncolytic virus.

Name PhD student: Vera Kemp  
Defense date: 07-02-2019  
Promotor: Prof. Dr. R.C. Hoeben  
Title thesis:  Enhancing reovirus for use in oncolytic virotherapy 

Abstract: Oncolytic reovirus has the natural preference to kill transformed cells while sparing normal cells. Its administration has been shown to be safe in clinical trials, but the anti-cancer efficacy remains to be improved. In this thesis, we discuss several aspects that are important for the design of a potent anti-cancer therapeutic strategy using reovirus. We explored which cellular factors and pathways are important for efficient reovirus replication. Furthermore, we genetically modified the reovirus genome to encode potentially therapeutic transgenes. We tested the potency of these recombinant reoviruses, and describe what we believe is the most promising strategy to move forward. Moreover, we discuss the stability issues that we encountered during the generation of recombinant reoviruses. Finally, we discuss the various challenges and opportunities in how to proceed.

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