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Hitting the Target but Missing the Point: Recent Progress towards Adenovirus-Based Precision Virotherapies

Division of Cancer and Genetics, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff CF14 4XN, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally to this work.
Cancers 2020, 12(11), 3327; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113327
Received: 4 October 2020 / Revised: 31 October 2020 / Accepted: 9 November 2020 / Published: 11 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy)
If harnessed appropriately, oncolytic viruses offer significant potential as anti-cancer agents. Such virotherapies can be engineered to replicate inside cancerous cells, stimulating the immune system, spreading daughter virions to surrounding cells and producing additional anticancer agents as a by-product of infection. To achieve this necessitates deep understanding of the biology of the virus and tumour cell, to tailor viruses from naturally pathogenic agents into refined, tumour selective “precision virotherapies” suitable for clinical translation. Here, we focus on the adenovirus, which in its pathogenic form causes transient and mild ocular, respiratory or gastrointestinal tract infections, depending on the serotype. We highlight advances that have been made in refining adenovirus to ablate natural means of infection and the strategies that have been employed to engineer viral tropism and selectivity for tumour cells. Further advances in these strategies will be required to deliver fully bespoke and efficacious precision virotherapies to the clinic.
More people are surviving longer with cancer. Whilst this can be partially attributed to advances in early detection of cancers, there is little doubt that the improvement in survival statistics is also due to the expansion in the spectrum of treatments available for efficacious treatment. Transformative amongst those are immunotherapies, which have proven effective agents for treating immunogenic forms of cancer, although immunologically “cold” tumour types remain refractive. Oncolytic viruses, such as those based on adenovirus, have great potential as anti-cancer agents and have seen a resurgence of interest in recent years. Amongst their many advantages is their ability to induce immunogenic cell death (ICD) of infected tumour cells, thus providing the alluring potential to synergise with immunotherapies by turning immunologically “cold” tumours “hot”. Additionally, enhanced immune mediated cell killing can be promoted through the local overexpression of immunological transgenes, encoded from within the engineered viral genome. To achieve this full potential requires the development of refined, tumour selective “precision virotherapies” that are extensively engineered to prevent off-target up take via native routes of infection and targeted to infect and replicate uniquely within malignantly transformed cells. Here, we review the latest advances towards this holy grail within the adenoviral field. View Full-Text
Keywords: adenovirus; oncolytic; virotherapy; targeting; immunotherapy; immunogenic cell death; αvβ6 integrin adenovirus; oncolytic; virotherapy; targeting; immunotherapy; immunogenic cell death; αvβ6 integrin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Cunliffe, T.G.; Bates, E.A.; Parker, A.L. Hitting the Target but Missing the Point: Recent Progress towards Adenovirus-Based Precision Virotherapies. Cancers 2020, 12, 3327. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113327

AMA Style

Cunliffe TG, Bates EA, Parker AL. Hitting the Target but Missing the Point: Recent Progress towards Adenovirus-Based Precision Virotherapies. Cancers. 2020; 12(11):3327. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113327

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cunliffe, Tabitha G.; Bates, Emily A.; Parker, Alan L. 2020. "Hitting the Target but Missing the Point: Recent Progress towards Adenovirus-Based Precision Virotherapies" Cancers 12, no. 11: 3327. https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers12113327

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Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

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