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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2005 Feb;15(1):18-26.

DNA tumor viruses -- the spies who lyse us.

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  • 1UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2340 Sutter Street, Box 0128, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA.


Identifying the molecular lesions that are 'mission critical' for tumorigenesis and maintenance is one of the burning questions in contemporary cancer biology. In addition, therapeutic strategies that trigger the lytic and selective death of tumor cells are the unfulfilled promise of cancer research. Fortunately, viruses can provide not only the necessary 'intelligence' to identify the critical players in the cancer cell program but also have great potential as lytic agents for tumor therapy. Recent studies with DNA viruses have contributed to our understanding of critical tumor targets (such as EGFR, PP2A, Rb and p53) and have an impact on the development of novel therapies, including oncolytic viral agents, for the treatment of cancer.

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