Background: Prostate cancer (PCa), a disease, is characterized by abnormal cell growth
in the prostate - a gland in the male reproductive system. Although older age and a family history of
the disease have been recognized as the risk factors of PCa, the cause of this cancer remains unclear.
Currently, PCa is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men of all races.
Method: In this review study, we first discuss the controversy of the contribution of virus infection
to PCa, and subsequently summarize the development of oncolytic virotherapy for PCa in the past
Results: Mounting evidence suggests that infections with various viruses are causally linked to PCa
pathogenesis. Published studies have provided strong evidence that at least two viruses (RXMV and
HPV) contribute to prostate tumourigenicity and impact on the survival of patients with malignant
PCa. Traditional therapies including chemotherapy and radiotherapy are unable to distinguish cancer
cells from normal cells, which are a significant drawback and leads to toxicities for PCa patients undergoing
treatment. So far, few other options are available for treating patients with advanced PCa.
For PCa treatment, oncolytic virotherapy appears to be much more attractive, which uses live viruses
to selectively kill cancer cells. Oncolytic viruses can be genetically engineered to induce cancer cell
lysis through virus replication and expression of cytotoxic proteins.
Conclusion: Virotherapy is being developed to be a novel therapy for cancers, which uses oncotropic
and oncolytic viruses with their abilities to find and destroy malignant cells in the body. As
oncolytic viruses are a relatively new class of anti-cancer immunotherapy agents, several important
barriers still exist on the road to the use of oncolytic viruses for PCa therapy.