Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in humans. The conventional cancer therapies include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and targeting therapies, which are intended to directly destroy and eliminate tumor cells. These treatments often fail, resulting in tumor metastasis and recurrence. Therefore, there is a critical need for novel cancer therapies. In recent years, an increasing number of studies have revealed that immune responses play a critical role in conventional cancer therapies. Replication-selective oncolytic viruses are a rapidly expanding therapeutic platform for cancer. Professor Wang Shengdian and his group from the Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, have studied tumor immunity for several years, with a team focusing on oncolytic adenovirus. In this work, entitled "CD8+ T cell response mediates the therapeutic effects of oncolytic adenovirus in an immunocompetent mouse model", published in Chinese Science Bulletin 2012, Vol. 57(1), this team has demonstrated that the host anti-tumor immune responses, especially the CD8+ T cell responses, play a critical role in the therapeutic effects of oncolytic adenovirus. These studies might shed light on novel cancer therapies.
Researchers have identified several oncolytic viruses such as poliovirus, adenovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus, reovirus, and vaccinia virus, which can selectively infect or replicate in cancer cells, but spare normal cells. Among these, adenovirus has been the most commonly used oncolytic virus in the last decade, because of its efficacy, safety, and ease of manipulation. When administered to tumors, oncolytic adenovirus infects and kills cancer cells as a result of the normal viral life cycle, by replicating in cells and releasing progeny viruses. However, adenoviral infection is immunogenic and can induce strong anti-viral immune responses, which accelerate the clearance of virus and limit
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Science in China Press