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Oncolytic virus therapy for cancer

Authors Goldufsky J, Sivendran S, Harcharik S, Pan M, Bernardo S, Stern RH, Friedlander P, Ruby CE, Saenger Y, Kaufman HL

Received 7 October 2012

Accepted for publication 6 December 2012

Published 24 September 2013 Volume 2013:2 Pages 31—46

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OV.S38901

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4


Joe Goldufsky,1 Shanthi Sivendran,3 Sara Harcharik,4 Michael Pan,4 Sebastian Bernardo,4 Richard H Stern,5 Philip Friedlander,4 Carl E Ruby,1,2 Yvonne Saenger,4 Howard L Kaufman1,2

Departments of 1Immunology & Microbiology and 2Surgery, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago IL, USA 3Hematology/Oncology Medical Specialists, Lancaster General Health, Lancaster, PA, USA, and Departments of 4Medical Oncology and 5Radiology, Tisch Cancer Institute, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Abstract: The use of oncolytic viruses to treat cancer is based on the selection of tropic tumor viruses or the generation of replication selective vectors that can either directly kill infected tumor cells or increase their susceptibility to cell death and apoptosis through additional exposure to radiation or chemotherapy. In addition, viral vectors can be modified to promote more potent tumor cell death, improve the toxicity profile, and/or generate host antitumor immunity. A variety of viruses have been developed as oncolytic therapeutics, including adenovirus, vaccinia virus, herpesvirus, coxsackie A virus, Newcastle disease virus, and reovirus. The clinical development of oncolytic viral therapy has accelerated in the last few years, with several vectors entering clinical trials for a variety of cancers. In this review, current strategies to optimize the therapeutic effectiveness and safety of the major oncolytic viruses are discussed, and a summary of current clinical trials is provided. Further investigation is needed to characterize better the clinical impact of oncolytic viruses, but there are increasing data demonstrating the potential promise of this approach for the treatment of human and animal cancers.

Keywords: cancer, gene therapy, oncolytic therapy, virus, treatment

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