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The Molecular Basis of Herpesviruses as Oncolytic Agents

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Herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) have entered clinical trials as oncolytic agents. The following properties make them good candidates. It is a mild pathogen; drugs (Aciclovir) are available to control viral infection; the large genome is amenable to genetic engineering, they can be rendered cancer-specific by deletion of genes, envelope glycoproteins allow the insertion of heterologous ligands to achieve modification of the natural tropism. Genetically modified HSVs have been thoroughly tested in humans. New generation recombinants retargeted to cancer-specific heterologous receptors have been generated and are presently evaluated in pre-clinical settings. They will be reviewed along with the molecular bases of cancer specificity and the strategies for the enhancement of oncolytic potential of HSV recombinants.
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Keywords: HER-2; HSV recombinants; Herpes simplex virus; cancer specificity; glioma; mild pathogen; natural tropism; oncolytic virotherapy; oncolytic virus; γ1 34.5

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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