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Hitting the target but missing the point: recent progress towards adenovirus-based precision virotherapies

Cunliffe, Tabitha G., Bates, Emily A. and Parker, Alan L. ORCID: 2020. Hitting the target but missing the point: recent progress towards adenovirus-based precision virotherapies. Cancers 12 (11) , 3327. 10.3390/cancers12113327

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More people are surviving longer with cancer. Whilst this can be partially attributed to advances in early detection of cancers, there is little doubt that the improvement in survival statistics is also due to the expansion in the spectrum of treatments available for efficacious treatment. Transformative amongst those are immunotherapies, which have proven effective agents for treating immunogenic forms of cancer, although immunologically “cold” tumour types remain refractive. Oncolytic viruses, such as those based on adenovirus, have great potential as anti-cancer agents and have seen a resurgence of interest in recent years. Amongst their many advantages is their ability to induce immunogenic cell death (ICD) of infected tumour cells, thus providing the alluring potential to synergise with immunotherapies by turning immunologically “cold” tumours “hot”. Additionally, enhanced immune mediated cell killing can be promoted through the local overexpression of immunological transgenes, encoded from within the engineered viral genome. To achieve this full potential requires the development of refined, tumour selective “precision virotherapies” that are extensively engineered to prevent off-target up take via native routes of infection and targeted to infect and replicate uniquely within malignantly transformed cells. Here, we review the latest advances towards this holy grail within the adenoviral field. View Full-Text Keywords: adenovirus; oncolytic; virotherapy; targeting; immunotherapy; immunogenic cell death; αvβ6 integrin

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2072-6694
Funders: Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 9 November 2020
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 09:48

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