To infection and beyond: The multi-pronged anti-cancer mechanisms of oncolytic viruses

Academic Article


  • © 2016 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Over the past 1–2 decades we have witnessed a resurgence of efforts to therapeutically exploit the attributes of lytic viruses to infect and kill tumor cells while sparing normal cells. We now appreciate that the utility of viruses for treating cancer extends far beyond lytic cell death. Viruses are also capable of eliciting humoral and cellular innate and adaptive immune responses that may be directed not only at virus-infected cells but also at uninfected cancer cells. Here we review our current understanding of this bystander effect, and divide the mechanisms into lytic, cytokine, innate cellular, and adaptive phases. Knowing the key pathways and molecular players during virus infection in the context of the cancer microenvironment will be critical to devise strategies to maximize the therapeutic effects of oncolytic viroimmunotherapy.
  • Published In

  • Viruses  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cassady KA; Haworth KB; Jackson J; Markert JM; Cripe TP
  • Volume

  • 8
  • Issue

  • 2