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Targeting tumor vasculature through oncolytic virotherapy: recent advances

Authors Toro Bejarano M, Merchan J

Received 19 June 2015

Accepted for publication 1 August 2015

Published 11 November 2015 Volume 2015:4 Pages 169—181


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Ahmed Majeed Al-Shammari

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati

Marcela Toro Bejarano, Jaime R Merchan

Division of Hematology–Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Miami, FL, USA

Abstract: The oncolytic virotherapy field has made significant advances in the last decade, with a rapidly increasing number of early- and late-stage clinical trials, some of them showing safety and promising therapeutic efficacy. Targeting tumor vasculature by oncolytic viruses (OVs) is an attractive strategy that offers several advantages over nontargeted viruses, including improved tumor viral entry, direct antivascular effects, and enhanced antitumor efficacy. Current understanding of the biological mechanisms of tumor neovascularization, novel vascular targets, and mechanisms of resistance has allowed the development of oncolytic viral vectors designed to target tumor neovessels. While some OVs (such as vaccinia and vesicular stomatitis virus) can intrinsically target tumor vasculature and induce vascular disruption, the majority of reported vascular-targeted viruses are the result of genetic manipulation of their viral genomes. Such strategies include transcriptional or transductional endothelial targeting, "armed" viruses able to downregulate angiogenic factors, or to express antiangiogenic molecules. The above strategies have shown preclinical safety and improved antitumor efficacy, either alone, or in combination with standard or targeted agents. This review focuses on the recent efforts toward the development of vascular-targeted OVs for cancer treatment and provides a translational/clinical perspective into the future development of new generation biological agents for human cancers.

Keywords: vascular targeting, oncolytic virus, tumor angiogenesis

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