Adenovirus is one of the most commonly used vectors for gene therapy and two products have already been approved for treatment of cancer in China (Gendicine(R) and Oncorine(R)). An intriguing aspect of oncolytic adenoviruses is that by their very nature they potently stimulate multiple arms of the immune system. Thus, combined tumor killing via oncolysis and inherent immunostimulatory properties in fact make these viruses in situ tumor vaccines. When further engineered to express cytokines, chemokines, tumor-associated antigens, or other immunomodulatory elements, they have been shown in various preclinical models to induce antigen-specific effector and memory responses, resulting both in full therapeutic cures and even induction of life-long tumor immunity. Here, we review the state of the art of oncolytic adenovirus, in the context of their capability to stimulate innate and adaptive arms of the immune system and finally how we can modify these viruses to direct the immune response toward cancer.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.