Viruses as anticancer weapons

Published on February 28, 2018   30 min

Other Talks in the Series: Viruses and Viral Diseases

My name is Roberto Cattaneo and I work at the Mayo Clinic, and I will speak today about using "Viruses as Anticancer Weapons".
Viruses are pathogens. But since the very beginning of virology, we are using them as friends, we are making them into friends. I will begin by introducing viruses as effective vaccines and then go on discussing the new anticancer weapons.
Let me first introduce smallpox which is a dangerous virus, has killed more than 300 million humans over historic times. No question, this is a virus which is an enemy. Smallpox has been eradicated through a campaign started in 1967, 50 years ago, and based on an animal virus which has been used as a vaccine for the first time by Dr. Jenner about 200 years ago. And based on this virus and thanks to a campaign by the World Health Organization, smallpox is eradicated since now more than 40 years. Other viruses which have killed humans include measles, which has killed about 200 million children over historic times, and the Spanish flu influenza, which has killed more than 50 million people over only one year. While all of these remains, but we have changed viruses and have made them into vaccines, and now with additional changes, we are making them into anticancer weapons.