Oncolytic virotherapy

Kavšek, Alen (2014) Oncolytic virotherapy. Bachelor's thesis, Faculty of Science > Department of Biology.

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Abstract

In spite of the many therapies developed so far, cancer is still regarded as one of the most common death causes and it therefore presents a real challenge. Much effort has lately been devoted to development of oncolytic virotherapy because of its effectiveness and safety, due to its ability to specifically target tumor cells. This therapy uses oncolytic viruses to selectively infect and to lyse tumor cells. Currently, nine different families of viruses are used in clinical trials: Adenoviridae, Picornaviridae, Herpesviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Parvoviridae, Reoviridae, Poxviridae, Retroviridae i Rhabdoviridae. There are several conditions that have to be satisfied for further improvement of oncolytic virotherapy, and they relate to bypassing the immune system, modifying viruses in order to enhance their specificity for tumor cells and “virus arming”. Neutralization of viruses by the immune system is most commonly overcome through serotype exchange, chemical modification of virus epitopes, or by using cell carriers. Much research focuses on employing stem cells to carry oncolytic viruses because some stem cell types spontaneously migrate towards certain types of tumors. Tumor cell specificity can be further enhanced by introducing genes whose products specifically bind viral antigens. Infection of untransformed cells can be prevented by positive or negative targeting. “Arming” of oncolytic viruses is achieved by modifying them so as to further enhance the lysis of tumor cells and stimulate the patient’s immune system. Destruction of tumor cells can be promoted in various ways, for example by arming viruses with transgenes for enzymes that convert non-toxic precursors into toxic metabolites in the tumor microenvironment, or by employing transgenes for sodium-iodide symporter which concentrate radioactive iodide ions in tumor cells. “Arming” of viruses can also be carried out with regard to tumor epigenetics since transformation of cells alters the epigenetic code. One of the promising strategies in fighting cancer is immunotherapy, which involves boosting the patient’s immune system, decreasing the tumor-induced immunosuppression as well as increasing the immunogenicity of the tumor in order to strengthen the immune response.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's thesis)
Supervisor: Škorić, Dijana
Date: 2014
Number of Pages: 18
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Biology
Depositing User: Silvana Šehić
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 12:05
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2014 10:50
URI: http://digre.pmf.unizg.hr/id/eprint/3239

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