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Biomedicines 2016, 4(3), 21;

Capitalizing on Cancer Specific Replication: Oncolytic Viruses as a Versatile Platform for the Enhancement of Cancer Immunotherapy Strategies

McMaster Immunology Research Centre, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8N 3Z5, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Zong Sheng Guo
Received: 11 July 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 24 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Oncolytic Viruses as a Novel Form of Immunotherapy for Cancer)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2560 KB, uploaded 24 August 2016]   |  


The past decade has seen considerable excitement in the use of biological therapies in treating neoplastic disease. In particular, cancer immunotherapy and oncolytic virotherapy have emerged as two frontrunners in this regard with the first FDA approvals for agents in both categories being obtained in the last 5 years. It is becoming increasingly apparent that these two approaches are not mutually exclusive and that much of the therapeutic benefit obtained from the use of oncolytic viruses (OVs) is in fact the result of their immunotherapeutic function. Indeed, OVs have been shown to recruit and activate an antitumor immune response and much of the current work in this field centers around increasing this activity through strategies such as engineering genes for immunomodulators into OV backbones. Because of their broad immunostimulatory functions, OVs can also be rationally combined with a variety of other immunotherapeutic approaches including cancer vaccination strategies, adoptive cell transfer and checkpoint blockade. Therefore, while they are important therapeutics in their own right, the true power of OVs may lie in their ability to enhance the effectiveness of a wide range of immunotherapies. View Full-Text
Keywords: oncolytic virotherapy; cancer immunotherapy; antitumor immunity oncolytic virotherapy; cancer immunotherapy; antitumor immunity

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Bastin, D.; Walsh, S.R.; Al Saigh, M.; Wan, Y. Capitalizing on Cancer Specific Replication: Oncolytic Viruses as a Versatile Platform for the Enhancement of Cancer Immunotherapy Strategies. Biomedicines 2016, 4, 21.

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