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Fusogenic Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Viruses as a Potent and Personalized Cancer Vaccine

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The recent FDA approval of Sipuleucel-T for the treatment of prostate cancer represents an important milestone of cancer immunotherapy, which, for the first time, validates the concept of bringing true clinical benefit to cancer patients by stimulating patients’ own anti-tumor immunity. Among the different experimental cancer immunotherapies, oncolytic virotherapy may represent a low-cost yet potent and personalized cancer vaccine for the treatment of solid tumors. This review describes the constructions of several human herpes simplex virus (HSV)-derived oncolytic viruses as candidate cancer vaccines, which induce specific and potent anti-tumor immunity in pre-clinical models, and thus resulting in stronger overall anti-tumor efficacy as compared to oncolytic effect alone. This article also describes the approaches to enhance the antitumor immunity of oncolytic HSVs, and in particular, the key role played by integrating membrane-fusion activity into these viruses. Additionally, this article reviews the potential effect of certain chemotherapeutic agents (e.g. cyclophosphamide) in boosting antitumor immunity induced by oncolytic HSV, and the mechanisms behind it. In summary, all the preclinical and clinical data have suggested that HSV-based oncolytic virotherapies could likely be developed as a new generation of cancer vaccines for the treatment of solid tumors.

Keywords: CPA; HSV; Oncolytic virus; Th1; cancer immunotherapy; combination therapy; human herpes simplex virus (HSV); oncolytic virotherapy; prostate cancer; solid tumor

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-07-01

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  • Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics in both pre-clinical and clinical areas of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. Current Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is an essential journal for academic, clinical, government and pharmaceutical scientists who wish to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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