Cytokines in oncolytic virotherapy
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Tumors represent a hostile environment for the effector cells of cancer immunosurveillance. Immunosuppressive receptors and soluble or membrane-bound ligands are abundantly exposed and released by malignant entities and their stromal accomplices. As a consequence, executioners of antitumor immunity inefficiently navigate across cancer tissues and fail to eliminate malignant targets. By inducing immunogenic cancer cell death, oncolytic viruses profoundly reshape the tumor microenvironment. They trigger the local spread of danger signals and tumor-associated (as well as viral) antigens, thus attracting antigen-presenting cells, promoting the activation and expansion of lymphocytic populations, facilitating their infiltration in the tumor bed, and reinvigorating cytotoxic immune activity. The present review recapitulates key chemokines, growth factors and other cytokines that orchestrate this ballet of antitumoral leukocytes upon oncolytic virotherapy.
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