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“Watershed Moment” in Cancer Virotherapy

Doctor Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD, of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, recently wrote reflecting on a “watershed moment” in cancer virotherapy:

For some patients, viruses may be a cure. For most, though, viruses will likely represent . . . “another arrow in the quiver” that physicians and patients can consider using on a case-by-case basis [against cancer].

Dr. Cripe was one of twenty-three (23) members of a FDA joint meeting of the Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee and Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee. On April 29, 2015, the committees together reviewed and approved of a live virus cancer therapy for a specific indication (melanoma). This joint approval signals a new era of forward thinking synthetic biology therapeutics. However, Dr. Cripe reminds us cancer virotherapy still has a long way to go:

We still need to figure out which viruses are best for which patients, at what doses and dose schedules and in what combinations with other therapies (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, other immunotherapies).

To read more, click here: Timothy Cripe, MD, PhD, Pediatrics Nationwide, A Watershed Moment for Cancer Virotherapy – A recent decision may define the future of virotherapy’s role in the clinical treatment of cancer, (Wednesday May 13, 2015).


Dr. Timothy P. Cripe is chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Cripe is also a member of the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Before coming to Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Cripe was medical co-director in the Office for Clinical and Translational Research and is the founding director of the Comprehensive Musculoskeletal Tumor Program at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. At the University of Cincinnati, he was a professor of Pediatrics and director of Pilot and Collaborative Studies in the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training. His clinical interests include gene and viral therapies for solid tumors in children, including brain tumors, neuroblastoma, and bone and soft tissue sarcomas. His current research focuses on developing and testing new, targeted therapies for pediatric solid tumors and translating those findings into clinical studies. He also investigates the use of viruses that selectively infect and kill cancer cells, studies their utility for killing cancer stem cells, and was among the first in the country to launch clinical trials of attenuated viruses in children.

Dr. Cripe is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University and completed his MD, PhD in genetics and pediatric residency training at the University of Iowa. He was a clinical fellow in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and a research fellow at the Children’s Hospital and University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver. Following his subspecialty training, he was an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin Children’s Hospital and Comprehensive Cancer Center in Madison and was the Pediatric Medical Director of the UW/ American Red Cross Hemophilia Treatment Center.

Dr. Timothy P. Cripe, M.D., PhD, is also the Viral Oncolytics Advisor to Open Therapeutics.

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