New viruses for cancer therapy: meeting clinical needs.
ABSTRACT: Early-stage clinical trials of oncolytic virotherapy have reported the safety of several virus platforms, and viruses from three families have progressed to advanced efficacy trials. In addition, preclinical studies have established proof-of-principle for many new genetic engineering strategies. Thus, the virotherapy field now has available a diverse collection of viruses that are equipped to address unmet clinical needs owing to improved systemic administration, greater tumour specificity and enhanced oncolytic efficacy. The current key challenge for the field is to develop viruses that replicate with greater efficiency within tumours while achieving therapeutic synergy with currently available treatments.
Project description:Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are powerful new therapeutic agents in cancer therapy. With the first OV (talimogene laherparepvec [T-vec]) obtaining US Food and Drug Administration approval, interest in OVs has been boosted greatly. Nevertheless, despite extensive research, oncolytic virotherapy has shown limited efficacy against solid tumors. Recent advances in viral retargeting, genetic editing, viral delivery platforms, tracking strategies, OV-based gene therapy, and combination strategies have the potential to broaden the applications of oncolytic virotherapy in oncology. In this review, we present several insights into the limitations and challenges of oncolytic virotherapy, describe the strategies mentioned above, provide a summary of recent preclinical and clinical trials in the field of oncolytic virotherapy, and highlight the need to optimize current strategies to improve clinical outcomes.
Project description:Oncolytic viruses selectively target and kill cancer cells in an immunogenic fashion, thus supporting the establishment of therapeutically relevant tumor-specific immune responses. In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the oncolytic herpes simplex virus T-VEC for use in advanced melanoma patients. Since then, a plethora of trials has been initiated to assess the safety and efficacy of multiple oncolytic viruses in patients affected with various malignancies. Here, we summarize recent preclinical and clinical progress in the field of oncolytic virotherapy.
Project description:As a promising therapeutic strategy, oncolytic virotherapy has shown potent anticancer efficacy in numerous pre-clinical and clinical trials. Oncolytic viruses have the capacity for conditional-replication within carcinoma cells leading to cell death via multiple mechanisms, including direct lysis of neoplasms, induction of immunogenic cell death, and elicitation of innate and adaptive immunity. In addition, these viruses can be engineered to express cytokines or chemokines to alter tumor microenvironments. Combination of oncolytic virotherapy with other antitumor therapeutic modalities, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as cancer immunotherapy can be used to target a wider range of tumors and promote therapeutic efficacy. In this review, we outline the basic biological characteristics of oncolytic viruses and the underlying mechanisms that support their use as promising antitumor drugs. We also describe the enhanced efficacy attributed to virotherapy combined with other drugs for the treatment of cancer.
Project description:Current standard treatments of cancer can prolong survival of many cancer patients but usually do not effectively cure the disease. Oncolytic virotherapy is an emerging therapeutic for the treatment of cancer that exploits replication-competent viruses to selectively infect and destroy cancerous cells while sparing normal cells and tissues. Clinical and/or preclinical studies on oncolytic viruses have revealed that the candidate viruses being tested in trials are remarkably safe and offer potential for treating many classes of currently incurable cancers. Among these candidates are vaccinia and myxoma viruses, which belong to the family Poxviridae and possess promising oncolytic features. This article describes poxviruses that are being developed for oncolytic virotherapy and summarizes the outcomes of both clinical and preclinical studies. Additionally, studies demonstrating superior efficacy when poxvirus oncolytic virotherapy is combined with conventional therapies are described.
Project description:The field of oncolytic virotherapy has seen remarkable advancements in last two decades, leading to approval of the first oncolytic immuno-virotherapy, Talimogene Laherparepvec, for the treatment of melanoma. A plethora of preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated excellent safety profiles of other oncolytic viruses. While oncolytic viruses show clinical promise in already immunogenic malignancies, response rates are inconsistent. Response rates are even less consistent in immunosuppressed tumor microenvironments like those found in liver, pancreas, and MSI-stable colon cancers. Therefore, the efficacy of oncolytic viruses needs to be improved for more oncolytic viruses to enter mainstream cancer therapy. One approach to increase the therapeutic efficacy of oncolytic viruses is to use them as primers for other immunotherapeutics. The amenability of oncolytic viruses to transgene-arming provides an immense opportunity for investigators to explore different ways of improving the outcome of oncolytic therapy. In this regard, genes encoding immunomodulatory proteins are the most commonly studied genes for arming oncolytic viruses. Other transgenes used to arm oncolytic viruses include those with the potential to favorably modulate tumor stroma, making it possible to image the virus distribution and increase its suitability for combination with other therapeutics. This review will detail the progress made in arming oncolytic viruses with a focus on immune-modulatory transgenes, and will discuss the challenges that need to be addressed for more armed oncolytic viruses to find widespread clinical use.
Project description:The field of therapeutic stem cell and oncolytic virotherapy for cancer treatment has rapidly expanded over the past decade. Oncolytic viruses constitute a promising new class of anticancer agent because of their ability to selectively infect and destroy tumor cells. Engineering of viruses to express anticancer genes and specific cancer targeting molecules has led to the use of these systems as a novel platform of metastatic cancer therapy. In addition, stem cells have a cancer specific migratory capacity, which is available for metastatic cancer targeting. Prodrug activating enzyme or anticancer cytokine expressing stem cells successfully inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells. Preclinical models have clearly demonstrated anticancer activity of these two platforms against a number of different cancer types and metastatic cancer. Several systems using therapeutic stem cells or oncolytic virus have entered clinical trials, and promising results have led to late stage clinical development. Consequently, metastatic cancer therapies using stem cells and oncolytic viruses are extremely promising. The following review will focus on the metastatic cancer targeting mechanism of therapeutic stem cells and oncolytic viruses, and potential challenges ahead for advancing the field.
Project description:Oncolytic virotherapy (OVT) is a novel form of immunotherapy using natural or genetically modified viruses to selectively replicate in and kill malignant cells. Many genetically modified oncolytic viruses (OVs) with enhanced tumor targeting, antitumor efficacy, and safety have been generated, and some of which have been assessed in clinical trials. Combining OVT with other immunotherapies can remarkably enhance the antitumor efficacy. In this work, we review the use of wild-type viruses in OVT and the strategies for OV genetic modification. We also review and discuss the combinations of OVT with other immunotherapies.
Project description:Oncolytic viruses are replication competent "live" viruses. They infect tumor cells, replicate highly selective inside and thereby destroy them. Because of the enormous advances in the field of genetic engineering and biotechnology during the last decade, virotherapy is increasingly used within clinical trials and proved to be safe and effective. In particular, treatment of ovarian cancer patients is one main focus of research. On the one hand, this is due to the poor prognosis of this dismal entity, resulting in the urgent need for novel therapeutics. On the other hand, as ovarian cancer typically spreads within the peritoneal cavity, intraperitoneal administration of oncolytic viruses is feasible. This paper provides an overview of promising results from clinical trials to treat ovarian cancer patients with oncolytic viruses.
Project description:Oncolytic virotherapy is emerging as a promising approach for the treatment of several neoplasms. The term "oncolytic viruses" is generally employed to indicate naturally occurring or genetically engineered attenuated viral particles that cause the demise of malignant cells while sparing their non-transformed counterparts. From a conceptual standpoint, oncolytic viruses differ from so-called "oncotropic viruses" in that only the former are able to kill cancer cells, even though both display a preferential tropism for malignant tissues. Of note, such a specificity can originate at several different steps of the viral cycle, including the entry of virions (transductional specificity) as well as their intracellular survival and replication (post-transcriptional and transcriptional specificity). During the past two decades, a large array of replication-competent and replication-incompetent oncolytic viruses has been developed and engineered to express gene products that would specifically promote the death of infected (cancer) cells. However, contrarily to long-standing beliefs, the antineoplastic activity of oncolytic viruses is not a mere consequence of the cytopathic effect, i.e., the lethal outcome of an intense, productive viral infection, but rather involves the elicitation of an antitumor immune response. In line with this notion, oncolytic viruses genetically modified to drive the local production of immunostimulatory cytokines exert more robust therapeutic effects than their non-engineered counterparts. Moreover, the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy is significantly improved by some extent of initial immunosuppression (facilitating viral replication and spread) followed by the administration of immunostimulatory molecules (boosting antitumor immune responses). In this Trial Watch, we will discuss the results of recent clinical trials that have evaluated/are evaluating the safety and antineoplastic potential of oncolytic virotherapy.
Project description:Various viruses have been studied and developed for oncolytic virotherapies. In virotherapy, a relatively small amount of viruses used in an intratumoral injection preferentially replicate in and lyse cancer cells, leading to the release of amplified viral particles that spread the infection to the surrounding tumor cells and reduce the tumor mass. Adenoviruses (Ads) are most commonly used for oncolytic virotherapy due to their infection efficacy, high titer production, safety, easy genetic modification, and well-studied replication characteristics. Ads with deletion of E1b55K preferentially replicate in and destroy cancer cells and have been used in multiple clinical trials. H101, one of the E1b55K-deleted Ads, has been used for the treatment of late-stage cancers as the first approved virotherapy agent. However, the mechanism of selective replication of E1b-deleted Ads in cancer cells is still not well characterized. This review will focus on three potential molecular mechanisms of oncolytic replication of E1b55K-deleted Ads. These mechanisms are based upon the functions of the viral E1B55K protein that are associated with p53 inhibition, late viralmRNAexport, and cell cycle disruption.