The Current Research in and Future Possibilities of Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Virus in Treatment of Gliomas and Glioblastomas

Hadley Keith


Oncolytic virotherapy uses naturally occurring or modified viruses to lyse cancer cells as well as help activate the host’s immune system. Currently, oncolytic virotherapy using many viruses on many tumor types are being researched. The oHSV-1 virus in cancer treatment is of particular interest due to recent success using this virus multimodally with other immunotherapies or by genetically engineering the virus to change certain functions or expressions of relevant genes and biomolecules such as those involving viral replication. The idea of oncolytic virus therapy (OVT) has great potential, but certain problems such as infection of untargeted cells, blocking of the therapy by a host’s immune system, toxicity due to therapy, and more. On the other hand, there have been some promising results when OVT is used concurrently with other cancer immunotherapies such as checkpoint blockade therapy (CBT) and adoptive cell therapy. Discussed here are studies on gliomas and glioblastomas being tested concurrently both in vitro and in vivo with genetically engineered forms of the oncolytic herpes simplex virus 1 (oHSV-1) and other immunotherapy types. Of specific interest are the roles of specific biomolecules involved in oHSV-1 therapy, promising forms of genetically engineered oHSV-1, and how to use/manipulate these key molecules to increase tumor specificity, viral replication, and tumor regression.

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