The goal of oncolytic therapy is to exploit the innate ability of viruses to infect tumor cells, replicate in tumor cells, and produce selective oncolysis while sparing normal cells. Although the concept that viruses can be oncolytic is not new, it is only in the last three decades that efforts have been directed at genetically mutating viruses to specifically target characteristics of cancer cells. Several viruses have the potential to infect, replicate and lyse tumor cells, each taking advantage of different host cancer cell biology. This review will focus on the major viruses under current investigation for oncolytic therapy, the mechanism by which they specifically eradicate tumors, and the clinical strategies currently under investigation.
Keywords: oncolytic viral therapy, suicide gene, hsv, adenovirus, vaccinia, reovirus, parvovirus, Vesicular stomatitis virus, newcastle virus, dlsptk
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