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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2017 Apr;17(4):457-474. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2017.1296132. Epub 2017 Mar 5.

Immune and viral therapies for malignant primary brain tumors.

Gardeck AM1, Sheehan J2, Low WC1,2,3,4,5,6.

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a Departments of Neurosurgery , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
b Integrative Biology and Physiology , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
c Graduate Program in Neuroscience , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
d Microbiology, Immunology, and Cancer Biology Graduate Program , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
e Masonic Cancer Center , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.
f Stem Cell Institute , University of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN , USA.


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a primary brain tumor with great lethality. Current standard of care with surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are ineffective in curing this disease. Recent advancements in biological therapies show promise in treating brain tumors. Areas covered: This article provides a review of: the peripheral activation of antigen presenting cells such as dendritic cells to stimulate T cells to recognize and destroy tumor cells within the brain; the ex vivo expansion and transfer of dendritic cells, T cells, and engineered T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors to target cells bearing specific tumor antigens as well as monoclonal antibodies as immune check point inhibitors. Gene therapy approaches have also been utilized to employ viral vectors in transducing cells to express cytokines for activating immune responses to brain tumors. Finally, the article reviews engineering of viruses for oncolytic targeting and destruction of malignant tumors within the brain. Expert opinion: The ultimate goal of immune and viral approaches for treating malignant brain tumors is to cure this disease. Preclinical and clinical studies utilizing these biological therapeutic approaches for treating brain tumors have the potential to augment the current standard of care to provide potential curative therapies.


EGFRvIII; GBM; Glioblastoma multiforme; adoptive T cell therapy; chimeric antigen receptor T cell; dendritic cell vaccination; gene therapy; immunotherapy; monoclonal antibodies; oncolytic virus

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