Oncolytic adenoviruses as antiglioma agents

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Abstract

The treatment for malignant gliomas is suboptimal. Oncolytic adenoviruses hold the promise of being effective agents for the treatment of solid tumors. Importantly, the first oncolytic viral therapy has just been approved for use in combination with chemotherapy for late-stage refractory nasopharyngeal cancer by the Chinese State FDA, following a successful Phase III randomized clinical trial. The concept underlying treatment with oncolytic adenoviruses is based on cancer selectivity by confining viral replication and infectivity to cancer cells. For this purpose, the main strategies used currently to modify the viruses include: functional deletions in essential viral genes; tumor- or tissue-specific promoters used to control the expression of these viral genes; and tropism modification to redirect adenovirus to the cancer cell surface. In the near future, oncolytic adenoviruses need to be optimized to fully realize their potential as critical anticancer tools and, thus, improve the prognosis for patients with malignant gliomas.

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