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Oncolytic viruses and immune checkpoint inhibitors: the "hot" new power couple

Lovatt, Charlotte and Parker, Alan L. ORCID: 2023. Oncolytic viruses and immune checkpoint inhibitors: the "hot" new power couple. Cancers 15 (16) , 4178. 10.3390/cancers15164178

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Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have revolutionized cancer care and shown remarkable efficacy clinically. This efficacy is, however, limited to subsets of patients with significant infiltration of lymphocytes into the tumour microenvironment. To extend their efficacy to patients who fail to respond or achieve durable responses, it is now becoming evident that complex combinations of immunomodulatory agents may be required to extend efficacy to patients with immunologically “cold” tumours. Oncolytic viruses (OVs) have the capacity to selectively replicate within and kill tumour cells, resulting in the induction of immunogenic cell death and the augmentation of anti-tumour immunity, and have emerged as a promising modality for combination therapy to overcome the limitations seen with ICIs. Pre-clinical and clinical data have demonstrated that OVs can increase immune cell infiltration into the tumour and induce anti-tumour immunity, thus changing a “cold” tumour microenvironment that is commonly associated with poor response to ICIs, to a “hot” microenvironment which can render patients more susceptible to ICIs. Here, we review the major viral vector platforms used in OV clinical trials, their success when used as a monotherapy and when combined with adjuvant ICIs, as well as pre-clinical studies looking at the effectiveness of encoding OVs to deliver ICIs locally to the tumour microenvironment through transgene expression.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2072-6694
Funders: Cancer Research UK
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 August 2023
Date of Acceptance: 18 August 2023
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2023 02:46

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