Oncolytic virus immunotherapy is a therapeutic approach to cancer treatment that utilizes native or genetically modified viruses that selectively replicate within tumour cells.
Oncolytic viruses represent a new class of therapeutic agents that promote anti-tumour responses through a dual mechanism of action that is dependent on selective tumour cell killing and the induction of systemic anti-tumour immunity.
There are numerous oncolytic viruses in clinical development for cancer immunotherapy: Herpes simplex viruses, Adenoviruses, Vaccinia virus, Coxsackievirus, Newcastle disease virus, Measles virus, Poliovirus……
A recent randomized Phase III clinical trial demonstrated an improved durable response rate for patients with advanced melanoma who were treated with a modified herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), encoding granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). This virus, termed talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC; Amgen), is widely anticipated to be the first oncolytic virus immunotherapy to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer. The success of T-VEC is likely to promote further drug development within this new class of cancer therapeutics.
Oncolytic virus immunotherapy is a highly promising approach and introduces a new class of drugs for treating patients with cancer.
Kaufman H L et al. Oncolytic viruses: a new class of immunotherapy drugs[J]. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, 2015, 14(9): 642-662.
Andtbacka R H I et al. Talimogene laherparepvec improves durable response rate in patients with advanced melanoma[J]. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2015: JCO. 2014.58. 3377.