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JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Oncolytic viruses as therapeutic cancer vaccines

David L Bartlett, Zuqiang Liu, Magesh Sathaiah, Roshni Ravindranathan, Zongbi Guo, Yukai He, Zong Sheng Guo
Molecular Cancer 2013, 12 (1): 103
24020520
Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are tumor-selective, multi-mechanistic antitumor agents. They kill infected cancer and associated endothelial cells via direct oncolysis, and uninfected cells via tumor vasculature targeting and bystander effect. Multimodal immunogenic cell death (ICD) together with autophagy often induced by OVs not only presents potent danger signals to dendritic cells but also efficiently cross-present tumor-associated antigens from cancer cells to dendritic cells to T cells to induce adaptive antitumor immunity. With this favorable immune backdrop, genetic engineering of OVs and rational combinations further potentiate OVs as cancer vaccines. OVs armed with GM-CSF (such as T-VEC and Pexa-Vec) or other immunostimulatory genes, induce potent anti-tumor immunity in both animal models and human patients. Combination with other immunotherapy regimens improve overall therapeutic efficacy. Coadministration with a HDAC inhibitor inhibits innate immunity transiently to promote infection and spread of OVs, and significantly enhances anti-tumor immunity and improves the therapeutic index. Local administration or OV mediated-expression of ligands for Toll-like receptors can rescue the function of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells inhibited by the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and thus enhances the antitumor effect. Combination with cyclophosphamide further induces ICD, depletes Treg, and thus potentiates antitumor immunity. In summary, OVs properly armed or in rational combinations are potent therapeutic cancer vaccines.

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