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Potential targeting of the tumor microenvironment to improve cancer virotherapy.

In 2015, oncolytic virotherapy was approved for clinical use, and in 2017, recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) delivery was also approved. However, systemic administration remains challenging due to the limited number of viruses that successfully reach the target site. Although the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits the use of higher doses of AAV to achieve greater rates of transduction, most AAV still accumulates in the liver, potentially leading to toxicity there and elsewhere. Targeting the tumor microenvironment is a promising strategy for cancer treatment due to the critical role of the tumor microenvironment in controlling tumor progression and influencing the response to therapies. Newly discovered evidence indicates that administration routes focusing on the tumor microenvironment can promote delivery specificity and transduction efficacy within the tumor. Here, we review approaches that involve modifying viral surface features, modulating the immune system, and targeting the physicochemical characteristics in tumor microenvironment to regulate therapeutic delivery. Targeting tumor acidosis presents advantages that can be leveraged to enhance virotherapy outcomes and to develop new therapeutic approaches that can be integrated with standard treatments.

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