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Synergistic Interaction of Telomerase-Specific Oncolytic Virotherapy and Chemotherapeutic Agents for Human Cancer

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Replication-selective tumor-specific viruses present a novel approach for treatment of neoplastic disease. These vectors are designed to induce virus-mediated lysis of tumor cells after selective viral propagation within the tumor. Telomerase activation is considered to be a critical step in carcinogenesis through the maintenance of telomeres, and its activity correlates closely with human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) expression. We constructed an attenuated adenovirus 5 vector, in which the hTERT promoter element drives expression of E1 genes, OBP-301 (Telomelysin). Since only tumor cells that express telomerase activity would activate this promoter, the hTERT proximal promoter allows for preferential expression of viral genes in tumor cells, leading to selective viral replication and oncolytic cell death. OBP-301 alone exhibited substantial antitumor effects both in animal models and in clinical trials; data regarding combination therapy with OBP-301 and chemotherapeutic agents are preliminary but encouraging. This article reviews synergistic interaction of virotherapy and chemotherapy, and illustrates the potential application for the treatment of human cancer.
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Keywords: Telomerase; adenovirus; docetaxel; gemcitabine; histon deacetylase inhibitor; neoplastic disease; viral genes; virotherapy

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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