Clinical advances in oncolytic virotherapy for pediatric brain tumors

Academic Article


  • Malignant brain tumors constitute nearly one-third of cancer diagnoses in children and have recently surpassed hematologic malignancies as the most lethal neoplasm in the pediatric population. Outcomes for children with brain tumors are unacceptably poor and current standards of care—surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation—are associated with significant long-term morbidity. Oncolytic virotherapy has emerged as a promising immunotherapy for the treatment of brain tumors. While the majority of brain tumor clinical trials utilizing oncolytic virotherapy have been in adults, five viruses are being tested in pediatric brain tumor clinical trials: herpes simplex virus (G207), reovirus (pelareorep/Reolysin), measles virus (MV-NIS), poliovirus (PVSRIPO), and adenovirus (DNX-2401, AloCELYVIR). Herein, we review past and current pediatric immunovirotherapy brain tumor trials including the relevant preclinical and clinical research that contributed to their development. We describe mechanisms by which the viruses may overcome barriers in treating pediatric brain tumors, examine challenges associated with achieving effective, durable responses, highlight unique aspects and successes of the trials, and discuss future directions of immunovirotherapy research for the treatment of pediatric brain tumors.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ghajar-Rahimi G; Kang KD; Totsch SK; Gary S; Rocco A; Blitz S; Kachurak K; Chambers MR; Li R; Beierle EA
  • Volume

  • 239