Dr. Auer, a surgical oncologist at the Ottawa Hospital and University of Ottawa assistant professor, is developing a personalized vaccine that is combined with a cancerfighting virus. The immune system is very good at killing unwanted invaders, like viruses, and can be very effective at killing cancer cells once it recognizes these as foreign.
Introducing the vaccine via the virus will allow the immune system to mount a powerful response against both the virus and the cancer itself. This vaccination strategy has all the strength of a viral vaccine but will pinpoint specific mutations found only within a given patient’s cancer.
“As a cancer surgeon I am particularly interested in preventing cancer from coming back after cancer surgery and in this project I will use the vaccine around the time of surgery to prevent cancer recurrences,” says Dr. Auer.
Dr. Duncan Stewart, scientific director of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, says: “Dr. Auer has shown extraordinary initiative in forging links between her laboratory and clinical colleagues. She has an excellent mix of innovation, drive and practicality that allows her to flourish in the challenging career path of a clinician-scientist.”
Mentoring Program: Terry Fox New Frontiers Team Program Project Grant to the Canadian Oncolytic Virus Consortium (COVCo)
Mentors/PIs: Dr. John Bell