Fighting Cancer with Cancer

Dr. Rebecca Auer, Surgical oncologist and scientist, The Ottawa Hospital

Often after people undergo surgery to remove cancerous tumours, the cancer comes back. Dr. Rebecca Auer is studying the impact of surgery on the immune system and cancer recurrence. She and her team are developing a vaccine made from an individual’s own tumour cells and infected with an oncolytic virus that can stimulate and train the individual’s immune system to recognize and fight off the same kind of tumour if it comes back after major abdominal surgery. 

“Our approach uses cancer-fighting viruses to create a kind of personalized vaccine for each patient, which we hope will help the patient’s own immune system attack their cancer,” said Dr. Rebecca Auer.

These personalized vaccines show great promise in paving the way for more effective therapies for cancer patients following surgery.


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