Oncolytic Virus-Driven Biotherapies from Bench to Bedside

Small. 2023 Mar 6;e2206948. doi: 10.1002/smll.202206948. Online ahead of print.


With advances in cancer biology and an ever-deepening understanding of molecular virology, oncolytic virus (OV)-driven therapies have developed rapidly and become a promising alternative to traditional cancer therapies. In recent years, satisfactory results for oncolytic virus therapy (OVT) are achieved at both the cellular and organismal levels, and efforts are being increasingly directed toward clinical trials. Unfortunately, OVT remains ineffective in these trials, especially when performed using only a single OV reagent. In contrast, integrated approaches, such as using immunotherapy, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, alongside OVT have demonstrated considerable efficacy. The challenges of OVT in clinical efficacy include the restricted scope of intratumoral injections and poor targeting of intravenous administration. Further optimization of OVT delivery is needed before OVs become a viable therapy for tumor treatment. In this review, the development process and antitumor mechanisms of OVs are introduced. The advances in OVT delivery routes to provide perspectives and directions for the improvement of OVT delivery are highlighted. This review also discusses the advantages and limitations of OVT monotherapy and combination therapy through the lens of recent clinical trials and aims to chart a course toward safer and more effective OVT strategies.

Keywords: antitumor mechanisms; clinical trials; intravenous administration; oncolytic viruses; traditional cancer therapies.

Publication types

  • Review