RNA viruses have been subjected to substantial engineering efforts to support gene therapy applications and vaccine development. Typically, retroviruses, lentiviruses, alphaviruses, flaviviruses rhabdoviruses, measles viruses, Newcastle disease viruses, and picornaviruses have been employed as expression vectors for treatment of various diseases including different types of cancers, hemophilia, and infectious diseases. Moreover, vaccination with viral vectors has evaluated immunogenicity against infectious agents and protection against challenges with pathogenic organisms. Several preclinical studies in animal models have confirmed both immune responses and protection against lethal challenges. Similarly, administration of RNA viral vectors in animals implanted with tumor xenografts resulted in tumor regression and prolonged survival, and in some cases complete tumor clearance. Based on preclinical results, clinical trials have been conducted to establish the safety of RNA virus delivery. Moreover, stem cell-based lentiviral therapy provided life-long production of factor VIII potentially generating a cure for hemophilia A. Several clinical trials on cancer patients have generated anti-tumor activity, prolonged survival, and even progression-free survival.
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