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
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 4 October 2020 / Revised: 31 October 2020 / Accepted: 9 November 2020 / Published: 11 November 2020
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.