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Novel therapeutic strategies in human malignancy: combining immunotherapy and oncolytic virotherapy

Authors Sampath P, Thorne S

Received 16 March 2015

Accepted for publication 16 April 2015

Published 18 June 2015 Volume 2015:4 Pages 75—82


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Padma Sampath, Steve H Thorne

Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Abstract: Results from randomized clinical trials over the last several years have finally begun to demonstrate the potential of oncolytic viral therapies to treat a variety of cancers. One reason for these successes has been the realization that this platform is most effective when considered primarily as an immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapy has also made dramatic strides recently with antibodies capable of blocking immune checkpoint inhibitors and adoptive T-cell therapies, notably CAR T-cells, leading a panel of novel and highly clinically effective therapies. It is clear therefore that an understanding of how and when these complementary approaches can most effectively be combined offers the real hope of moving beyond simply treating the disease and toward starting to talk about curative therapies. In this review we discuss approaches to combining these therapeutic platforms, both through engineering the viral vectors to more beneficially interact with the host immune response during therapy, as well as through the direct combinations of different therapeutics. This primarily, but not exclusively focuses on strains of oncolytic vaccinia virus. Some of the results reported to date, primarily in pre-clinical models but also in early clinical trials, are dramatic and hold great promise for the future development of similar therapies and their translation into cancer therapies.

Keywords: oncolytic virus, CAR T-cell, adoptive cell therapy, immune checkpoint inhibitor

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