Targeted and armed oncolytic poxviruses: a novel multi-mechanistic therapeutic class for cancer

Nat Rev Cancer. 2009 Jan;9(1):64-71. doi: 10.1038/nrc2545.


Viruses have been engineered for cancer therapy in a variety of ways. Approaches include non-replicating gene therapy vectors, cancer vaccines and oncolytic viruses, but the clinical efficacy of these approaches has been limited by multiple factors. However, a new therapeutic class of oncolytic poxviruses has recently been developed that combines targeted and armed approaches for treating cancer. Initial preclinical and clinical results show that products from this therapeutic class can systemically target cancers in a highly selective and potent fashion using a multi-pronged mechanism of action.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • Forecasting
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Inflammation
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy*
  • Oncolytic Viruses / genetics
  • Oncolytic Viruses / immunology
  • Oncolytic Viruses / physiology*
  • Poxviridae / genetics
  • Poxviridae / immunology
  • Poxviridae / physiology*
  • Vaccinia virus / genetics
  • Vaccinia virus / immunology
  • Vaccinia virus / physiology
  • Virus Replication


  • Cancer Vaccines