Oncolytic virotherapy: a potential therapeutic approach for cholesteatoma

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020 Oct;28(5):281-285. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000651.


Purpose of review: To review the principles of oncolytic virotherapy and summarize the recent preliminary evidence on the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy for cholesteatoma (CHST) treatment in vitro in human CHST cells and in a gerbil CHST model.

Recent findings: The use of oncolytic virotherapy for nonmalignant lesions is innovative. In-vitro results showed that oncolytic herpes simplex virus 1 (oHSV) selectively targets and kills CHST cells. In a gerbil model of CHST, local oHSV injections were associated with a decrease in CHST volume and modulation of bony changes.

Summary: Surgical treatment options for CHST are limited by high morbidity and recidivism, emphasizing the need for developing treatment alternatives. Preliminary results support the potential therapeutic effect of oncolytic virotherapy on CHST, yet further research is needed to evaluate this novel approach.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesteatoma, Middle Ear / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Oncolytic Virotherapy*