Advanced liver cancers and biliary cancers represent diseases with dismal prognosis because
of frequent local invasion and metastasis. Effective therapeutic agents for these cancers have
not been established. Oncolytic viruses (OVs) constitute a novel class of promising, selective anticancer
agents and recent studies have elucidated their unique features. Moreover, clinical trials are
demonstrating promising results. Numerous OVs are being tested in preclinical models of hepatocellular
carcinoma (HCC). The lead agent Pexa-Vec (pexastimogene devacirepvec, JX-594), a recombinant
Wyeth strain vaccinia virus, has demonstrated preliminary evidence of safety and efficacy for
HCC in clinical trials. Few other OVs have entered clinical testing. Relatively few preclinical studies
and clinical trials exist for biliary cancers. In this review, we introduce various approaches using
OVs to treat the intractable hepatobiliary cancers.
Keywords: Gene therapy, gallbladder cancer, bile duct cancer, oncolytic virus, adenovirus, virotherapy.
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