Oncolytic viruses for cancer immunotherapy

Otto Hemminki, João Manuel dos Santos, Akseli Hemminki
2020 Journal of Hematology & Oncology  
In this review, we discuss the use of oncolytic viruses in cancer immunotherapy treatments in general, with a particular focus on adenoviruses. These serve as a model to elucidate how versatile viruses are, and how they can be used to complement other cancer therapies to gain optimal patient benefits. Historical reports from over a hundred years suggest treatment efficacy and safety with adenovirus and other oncolytic viruses. This is confirmed in more contemporary patient series and multiple
more » ... inical trials. Yet, while the first viruses have already been granted approval from several regulatory authorities, room for improvement remains.As good safety and tolerability have been seen, the oncolytic virus field has now moved on to increase efficacy in a wide array of approaches. Adding different immunomodulatory transgenes to the viruses is one strategy gaining momentum. Immunostimulatory molecules can thus be produced at the tumor with reduced systemic side effects. On the other hand, preclinical work suggests additive or synergistic effects with conventional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. In addition, the newly introduced checkpoint inhibitors and other immunomodulatory drugs could make perfect companions to oncolytic viruses. Especially tumors that seem not to be recognized by the immune system can be made immunogenic by oncolytic viruses. Logically, the combination with checkpoint inhibitors is being evaluated in ongoing trials. Another promising avenue is modulating the tumor microenvironment with oncolytic viruses to allow T cell therapies to work in solid tumors.Oncolytic viruses could be the next remarkable wave in cancer immunotherapy.
doi:10.1186/s13045-020-00922-1 pmid:32600470 fatcat:ifjddxnylbaalmy56kbbdhmmk4