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Recent Advances and Challenges in Oncolytic Virotherapy: The Myoxma Virus Story

Oncolytic virotherapy is the use of live viruses to selectively infect and kill cancerous cells but spare normal cells and tissue. Dozens of oncolytic viruses (OVs) have been exploited for this purpose and are in various stages of clinical trials, and three OVs have been approved for specific cancers to date by national regulatory authorities. The major challenges facing the field include the following: choice of virus platform, selection of therapeutic transgenes, the translatability of preclinical animal models, OV delivery, clinical grade manufacture, and how best to combine OVs with other co-therapies, particularly immunotherapy. Grant McFadden's lab focuses on one particular oncolytic poxyvirus called myxoma virus, and recent advances in this system will be described.