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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2019 Jul 10. doi: 10.1038/s41573-019-0029-0. [Epub ahead of print]

Optimizing oncolytic virotherapy in cancer treatment.

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Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.
Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.
Oncology R&D, AstraZeneca, Cambridge, UK.
Department of Medicine and Medical Oncology, Université Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


In the wake of the success of modern immunotherapy, oncolytic viruses (OVs) are currently seen as a potential therapeutic option for patients with cancer who do not respond or fail to achieve durable responses following treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. OVs offer a multifaceted therapeutic platform because they preferentially replicate in tumour cells, can be engineered to express transgenes that augment their cytotoxic and immunostimulatory activities, and modulate the tumour microenvironment to optimize immune-mediated tumour eradication, both at locoregional and systemic sites of disease. Lysis of tumour cells releases tumour-specific antigens that trigger both the innate and adaptive immune systems. OVs also represent attractive combination partners with other systemically delivered agents by virtue of their highly favourable safety profiles. Rational combinations of OVs with different immune modifiers and/or antitumour agents, based on mechanisms of tumour resistance to immune-mediated attack, may benefit the large, currently underserved, population of patients who respond poorly to immune checkpoint inhibition.


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