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Current understanding of reovirus oncolysis mechanisms

Authors Phillips MB, Stuart JD, Rodríguez Stewart RM, Berry JTL, Mainou BA, Boehme KW

Received 31 January 2018

Accepted for publication 24 March 2018

Published 14 June 2018 Volume 2018:7 Pages 53—63


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Tommy Alain

Matthew B Phillips,1 Johnasha D Stuart,1 Roxana M Rodríguez Stewart,2 Jameson TL Berry,2 Bernardo A Mainou,2 Karl W Boehme1

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Atlanta, GA, USA; 2Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract: Mammalian orthoreovirus (reovirus) is under development as a cancer virotherapy. Clinical trials demonstrate that reovirus-based therapies are safe and tolerated in patients with a wide variety of cancers. Although reovirus monotherapy has proven largely ineffective, reovirus sensitizes cancer cells to existing chemotherapeutic agents and radiation. Clinical trials are underway to test the efficacy of reovirus in combination with chemotherapeutic and radiation regimens and to evaluate the effectiveness of reovirus in conjunction with immunotherapies. Central to the use of reovirus to treat cancer is its capacity to directly kill cancer cells and alter the cellular environment to augment other therapies. Apoptotic cell death is a prominent mechanism of reovirus cancer cell killing. However, reoviruses can also kill cancer cells through nonapoptotic mechanisms. Here, we describe mechanisms of reovirus cancer cell killing, highlight how reovirus is used in combination with existing cancer treatments, and discuss what is known as to how reovirus modulates cancer immunotherapy.

Keywords: virotherapy, cancer, immunotherapy, cell death, interferon

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