Molecular imaging of viral oncolysis therapy for cancer metastases

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Event Details

21 March 2019 at 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Monash Biomedical Imaging Auditorium, 770 Blackburn Road
Open to:
Staff and students
Engineering; Medicine, Nursing, Health Science; Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Science; Science; Seminars & Workshops


Cancer metastases, especially to the brain, lung and liver, result in devastating complications leading to poor prognosis. Despite treatment advances, the emergence of resilient metastases challenge existing therapies.

Viral oncolysis is a novel treatment option that is based on the target and destruction of cancer cells by a replication-conditional virus, while sparing healthy cells. Robust virus replication in cancer cells over successive cycles magnifies the initial therapeutic dose. This requires careful monitoring, often through multiple biopsies which is not feasible. Molecular imaging with PET / MRI overcomes monitoring challenges by providing a non-invasive means to identify intracellular virus gene expression in real-time.

In this seminar, Dr Darshini Kuruppu will discuss PET / MRI imaging of cancer metastases along with a potential treatment option that could prolong patient survival, and non-invasive means to evaluate treatment success.

Dr Darshini Kuruppu is an Instructor at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA and conducts preclinical and clinical research at Massachusetts General Hospital, jointly at the Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology and the Department of Radiology. She completed her PhD at the Alfred Hospital, Monash University.

Her research centres on mouse models of cancer metastases, primarily meningeal metastases from cancer of the breast, lung and melanoma, and liver metastases investigating HSV-1 oncolysis therapy and molecular imaging with PET/CT, SPECT, MRI and bioluminescence.

Monash Biomedical Imaging
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Monash Biomedical Imaging