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Pouring petrol on the flames: using oncolytic virotherapies to enhance tumour immunogenicity

Teijeira Crespo, Alicia, Burnell, Stephanie, Capitani, Lorenzo, Bayliss, Rebecca ORCID:, Moses, Elise, Mason, Georgina H., Davies, James A. ORCID:, Godkin, Andrew J. ORCID:, Gallimore, Awen M. ORCID: and Parker, Alan L. ORCID: 2021. Pouring petrol on the flames: using oncolytic virotherapies to enhance tumour immunogenicity. Immunology 163 (4) , pp. 389-398. 10.1111/imm.13323

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Oncolytic viruses possess the ability to infect, replicate and lyse malignantly transformed tumour cells. This oncolytic activity amplifies the therapeutic advantage and induces a form of immunogenic cell death, characterized by increased CD8 + T-cell infiltration into the tumour microenvironment. This important feature of oncolytic viruses can result in the warming up of immunologically ‘cold’ tumour types, presenting the enticing possibility that oncolytic virus treatment combined with immunotherapies may enhance efficacy. In this review, we assess some of the most promising candidates that might be used for oncolytic virotherapy: immunotherapy combinations. We assess their potential as separate agents or as agents combined into a single therapy, where the immunotherapy is encoded within the genome of the oncolytic virus. The development of such advanced agents will require increasingly sophisticated model systems for their preclinical assessment and evaluation. In vivo rodent model systems are fraught with limitations in this regard. Oncolytic viruses replicate selectively within human cells and therefore require human xenografts in immune-deficient mice for their evaluation. However, the use of immune-deficient rodent models hinders the ability to study immune responses against any immunomodulatory transgenes engineered within the viral genome and expressed within the tumour microenvironment. There has therefore been a shift towards the use of more sophisticated ex vivo patient-derived model systems based on organoids and explant co-cultures with immune cells, which may be more predictive of efficacy than contrived and artificial animal models. We review the best of those model systems here.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0019-2805
Funders: MRC, Cancer Research UK
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 February 2021
Date of Acceptance: 12 February 2021
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 19:02

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