Abstract: This review provides an overview of 50 years of basic and clinical research on an oncolytic avian virus, Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), which has particular anti-neoplastic and immune stimulatory properties. Of special interest is the fact that this biological agent induces immunogenic cell death and systemic anti-tumor immunity. Furthermore, localized oncolytic virotherapy with NDV was shown to overcome systemic tumor resistance to immune checkpoint blockade immunotherapy. Clinical experience attests to low side effects and a high safety profile. This is due among others to the strong virus-induced type I interferon response. Other viral characteristics are lack of interaction with host cell DNA, lack of genetic recombination and independence of virus replication from cell proliferation. In this millennium, new recombinant strains of viruses are being produced with improved therapeutic properties. Clinical applications include single case observations, case series studies and Phase I to III studies.
Abstract: Nuclear-receptors are often overexpressed in tumours and can thereby be used as targets when designing novel selective chemotherapeutic agents. To date, many conjugates incorporating an estrogen receptor (ER) ligand have been synthesised in order to direct chemical agents to tissue sites containing ERs. A series of ER ligand conjugates were synthesised incorporating an antagonistic ER ligand scaffold based on endoxifen, covalently-bound via an amide linkage to a variety of combretastatin-based analogues, which may act as antimitotic agents. These novel endoxifen-combretastatin hybrid scaffold analogues were biochemically evaluated in order to determine their antiproliferative and cytotoxicity effects in both the ER-positive MCF-7 and the ER-negative MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. ER competitive binding assays were carried out to assess the binding affinity of the lead conjugate 28 towards both the ERα and ERβ isoforms. In results from the NCI 60-cell line screen, the lead conjugate 28 displayed potent and highly selective antiproliferative activity towards the MCF-7 human cancer cell line (IC50 = 5 nM). In the ER-binding assays, the lead conjugate 28 demonstrated potent ER competitive binding in ERα (IC50 value: 0.9 nM) and ERβ (IC50 value: 4.7 nM). Preliminary biochemical results also demonstrate that the lead conjugate 28 may exhibit pure antagonism. This series makes an important addition to the class of ER antagonists and may have potential applications in anticancer therapy.
Abstract: Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) take advantage of the specificity of a monoclonal antibody to deliver a linked cytotoxic agent directly into a tumour cell. The development of these compounds provides exciting opportunities for improvements in patient care. Here, we review the key issues impacting on the clinical success of ADCs in cancer therapy. Like many other developing therapeutic classes, there remain challenges in the design and optimisation of these compounds. As the clinical applications for ADCs continue to expand, key strategies to improve patient outcomes include better patient selection for treatment and the identification of mechanisms of therapy resistance.
Abstract: Cancer therapy remains a challenge due to toxicity limitations of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Oncolytic viruses that selectively replicate and destroy cancer cells are of increasing interest. In addition to direct cell lysis, these vectors stimulate an anti-tumor immune response. A key regulator of tumor immunity is the tumor-associated macrophage population. Macrophages can either support oncolytic virus therapy through pro-inflammatory stimulation of the anti-tumor response at the cost of hindering direct oncolysis or through immunosuppressive protection of virus replication at the cost of hindering the anti-tumor immune response. Despite similarities in macrophage interaction between adult and pediatric tumors and the abundance of research supporting macrophage modulation in adult tumors, there are few studies investigating macrophage modulation in pediatric cancers or modulation of immunotherapy. We review the current state of knowledge regarding macrophages in cancers and their influence on oncolytic virotherapy.
Abstract: Immunotoxins are chimeric proteins obtained by linking a toxin to either an intact antibody or an antibody fragment. Conjugation can be obtained by chemical or genetic engineering, where the latter yields recombinant conjugates. An essential requirement is that the target molecule recognized by the antibody is confined to the cell population to be deleted, or at least that it is not present on stem cells or other cell types essential for the organism’s survival. Hundreds of different studies have demonstrated the potential for applying immunotoxins to many models in pre-clinical studies and in clinical trials. Immunotoxins can be theoretically used to eliminate any unwanted cell responsible for a pathological condition. The best results have been obtained in cancer therapy, especially in hematological malignancies. Among plant toxins, the most frequently employed to generate immunotoxins are ribosome-inactivating proteins, the most common being ricin. This review summarizes the various approaches and results obtained in the last four decades by researchers in the field of plant toxin-based immunotoxins for cancer therapy.
Abstract: Targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics and diagnostic agents conjugated to carrier ligands has made significant progress in recent years, both in regards to the structural design of the conjugates and their biological effectiveness. The goal of targeting specific cell surface receptors through structural compatibility has encouraged the use of peptides as highly specific carriers as short peptides are usually non-antigenic, are structurally simple and synthetically diverse. Recent years have seen many developments in the field of peptide based drug conjugates (PDCs), particularly for cancer therapy, as their use aims to bypass off-target side-effects, reducing the morbidity common to conventional chemotherapy. However, no PDCs have as yet obtained regulatory approval. In this review, we describe the evolution of the peptide-based strategy for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics and discuss recent innovations in the arena that should lead in the near future to their clinical application.