Oncolytic viruses (OV) are considered as promising tools in cancer treatment. In addition
to direct cytolysis, the stimulation of both innate and adaptive immune responses is the most
important mechanism in oncolytic virotherapy that finally leads to the long-standing tumor retardations
in the advanced melanoma clinical trials. The OVs have become a worthy method in cancer
treatment, due to their several biological advantages including (1) the selective replication in
cancer cells without affecting normal cells; (2) the lack of resistance to the treatment; (3) cancer
stem cell targeting; (4) the ability to be spread; and (5) the immune response induction against the
tumors. Numerous types of viruses; for example, Herpes simplex viruses, Adenoviruses, Reoviruses,
Poliovirus, and Newcastle disease virus have been studied as a possible cancer treatment
strategy. Although some viruses have a natural orientation or tropism to cancer cells, several others
need attenuation and genetic manipulation to increase the safety and tumor-specific replication activity.
Two important mechanisms are involved in OV antitumor responses, which include the tumor
cell death due to virus replication, and also induction of immunogenic cell death as a result of
the immune system responses against the tumor cells. Furthermore, the high efficiency of OV on
antitumor immune response stimulation can finally lead to a significant tumor shrinkage.
Keywords: Oncolytic virus, virotherapy, vaccinia virus, reovirus, adenovirus, vaccinia virus, measles virus, poliovirus, herpes
simplex virus, cancer treatment.
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