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Mol Ther. 2009 Oct;17(10):1667-76. doi: 10.1038/mt.2009.194. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

Cell carriers for oncolytic viruses: Fed Ex for cancer therapy.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.


Oncolytic viruses delivered directly into the circulation face many hazards that impede their localization to, and infection of, metastatic tumors. Such barriers to systemic delivery could be overcome if couriers, which confer both protection, and tumor localization, to their viral cargoes, could be found. Several preclincal studies have shown that viruses can be loaded into, or onto, different types of cells without losing the biological activity of either virus or cell carrier. Importantly, such loading can significantly protect the viruses from immune-mediated virus-neutralizing activities, including antiviral antibody. Moreover, an impressive portfolio of cellular vehicles, which have some degree of tropism for tumor cells themselves, or for the biological properties associated with the tumor stroma, is already available. Therefore, it will soon be possible to initiate clinical protocols to test the hypopthesis that cell-mediated delivery can permit efficient shipping of oncolytic viruses from the loading bay (the production laboratory) directly to the tumor in immune-competent patients with metastatic disease.

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