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Cancer immunotherapy via combining oncolytic virotherapy with chemotherapy: recent advances

Authors Simpson G, Relph K, Harrington K, Melcher A, Pandha H

Received 28 July 2015

Accepted for publication 20 November 2015

Published 6 January 2016 Volume 2016:5 Pages 1—13


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Guy R Simpson,1 Kate Relph,1 Kevin Harrington,2 Alan Melcher,3 Hardev Pandha1

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Targeted Cancer Therapy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, 2Targeted Therapy, The Institute of Cancer Research/The Royal Marsden NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, London, 3Targeted and Biological Therapies,Oncology and Clinical Research, Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK

Abstract: Oncolytic viruses are multifunctional anticancer agents with huge clinical potential, and have recently passed the randomized Phase III clinical trial hurdle. Both wild-type and engineered viruses have been selected for targeting of specific cancers, to elicit cytotoxicity, and also to generate antitumor immunity. Single-agent oncolytic virotherapy treatments have resulted in modest effects in the clinic. There is increasing interest in their combination with cytotoxic agents, radiotherapy and immune-checkpoint inhibitors. Similarly to oncolytic viruses, the benefits of chemotherapeutic agents may be that they induce systemic antitumor immunity through the induction of immunogenic cell death of cancer cells. Combining these two treatment modalities has to date resulted in significant potential in vitro and in vivo synergies through various mechanisms without any apparent additional toxicities. Chemotherapy has been and will continue to be integral to the management of advanced cancers. This review therefore focuses on the potential for a number of common cytotoxic agents to be combined with clinically relevant oncolytic viruses. In many cases, this combined approach has already advanced to the clinical trial arena.

Keywords: oncolytic virotherapy, chemotherapy, immunogenic cell death

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