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Each year, the parents of approximately 15,700 kids will hear the words “your child has cancer.” Across all ages, ethnic groups and socio-economics, this disease remains the number one cause of death by disease in children. Despite major advances – from an overall survival rate of 10 percent just fifty years ago to nearly 90 percent today, for many rare cancers, the survival rate is much lower. Believe in the Gold is excited and confident in our partner, Dr. Douglas J Mahoney and his ongoing research that may soon provide an exciting alternative to drug-based therapies for some cancers.

Meet Dr. Douglas J Mahoney

Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Disease

Research Activities:
Treating childhood cancers with oncolytic viruses

Primary Area of Research:
Based on very promising phase I-II clinical data, several oncolytic viruses have recently been approved for late stage evaluation in human cancer patients. As such, these agents may soon provide an exciting alternative to drug-based therapies for some cancers. Non-pathogenic oncolytic viruses distinguish tumor from normal because of cancer-specific genetic defects, and often lead to long-term cures in previously resistant preclinical cancer models. My lab studies the interactions between oncolytic viruses (OV) and mammalian host tumor cells and normal inflammatory and immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. The short-term goals of my research program are to (1) interrogate cancer genomes for opportunities to improve virus spread and induce bystander killing in tumors; (2) probe the tumor microenvironment for opportunities to enhance virus-induced tumor targeting by the host’s immune system. In the long term, my vision is to develop and test novel oncolytic and adjunctive therapeutics for pediatric cancers, primarily for solid tumors of brain, neuroendocrine and soft tissue origin.

Recent publications

believe in the gold research

Always exciting to see our very own Douglas J. Mahoney sharing his research!
Hear his thoughts on the potential for harnessing microbes to treat human disease presented at the recent Dean’s Talks (TED style) at the University of Calgary. Advances in health research are changing your future!