"Buy one get one free": Armed viruses for the treatment of cancer cells and their microenvironment

Balveen Kaur, Timothy P. Cripe, E. Antonio Chiocca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Oncolytic viral therapy is a promising biological therapy for the treatment of cancer. Recent advances in genetic engineering have facilitated the construction of custom-built oncolytic viruses that can be exquisitely targeted to tumors by exploiting each cancer's unique biology and their efficacy can be further enhanced by "arming" them with additional therapeutic genes. Such an approach allows the virus to unload its "therapeutic cargo" at the tumor site, thereby enhancing its anti-neoplastic properties. While several clever strategies have been recently described using genes that can induce cellular apoptosis/suicide and/or facilitate tumor/virus imaging, viruses armed with genes that also affect the tumor microenvironment present an exciting and promising approach to therapy. In this review we discuss recently developed oncolytic viruses armed with genes encoding for angiostatic factors, inflammatory cytokines, or proteases that modulate the extracellular matrix to regulate tumor vascularization, anti-tumor immune responses and viral spread throughout the solid tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-355
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Gene Therapy
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Angiogenesis
  • Cytokines
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Oncolytic viruses
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Genetics(clinical)

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