Chemotherapy and Oncolytic Virotherapy: Advanced Tactics in the War against Cancer
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Cancer is a traitorous archenemy that threatens our survival. Its ability to evade detection and adapt to various cancer therapies means that it is a moving target that becomes increasingly difficult to attack. Through technological advancements, we have developed sophisticated weapons to fight off tumor growth and invasion. However, if we are to stand a chance in this war against cancer, advanced tactics will be required to maximize the use of our available resources. Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are multi-functional cancer-fighters that can be engineered to suit many different strategies; in particular, their retooling can facilitate increased capacity for direct tumor killing (oncolytic virotherapy) and elicit adaptive antitumor immune responses (oncolytic immunotherapy). However, administration of these modified OVs alone, rarely induces successful regression of established tumors. This may be attributed to host antiviral immunity that acts to eliminate viral particles, as well as the capacity for tumors to adapt to therapeutic selective pressure. It has been shown that various chemotherapeutic drugs with distinct functional properties can potentiate the antitumor efficacy of OVs. In this review, we summarize the chemotherapeutic combinatorial strategies used to optimize virally induced destruction of tumors. With a particular focus on pharmaceutical immunomodulators, we discuss how specific therapeutic contexts may alter the effects of these synergistic combinations and their implications for future clinical use.
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