Measles Virus as An Oncolytic Vector Platform
Viral vector systems are widely being used in the development of new genetic approaches for a variety of human diseases. Oncolytic viruses have shown great potential as cancer therapeutics. The ideal viral vector for cancer gene therapy eradicates a clinically significant fraction of malignant cells and leaves normal tissues unharmed. The Edmonston vaccine strain of measles virus is a replicating RNA virus which is characterized by its tumor selectivity and oncolysis. Its strong tumor suppressive potential combined with its excellent safety record as a viral vaccine makes it an optimal platform for oncolytic virotherapy of cancer. Recent advances in genetic engineering of measles virus allow insertion of therapeutic and diagnostic transgenes as well as complete retargeting of measles virus. These strategies resulted in the generation of recombinant measles viruses allowing non-invasive monitoring of viral replication and viral spread. The immune defense is a significant barrier for efficient viral gene therapy. Immune-evasive strategies have successfully been developed for measles virus enhancing its efficacy. This review gives an overview of measles virus as an anticancer agent; in particular, its use in oncologic virotherapy as well as new developments in targeting and immune evasive strategies.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2008