Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 862925, 7 pages
Review Article

Oncolytic Immunotherapy: Where Are We Clinically?

1Cancer Gene Therapy Group, Haartman Institute, University of Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 3, 00290 Helsinki, Finland
2TILT Biotherapeutics Ltd., P. Hesperiankatu 37A22, 00260 Helsinki, Finland

Received 6 November 2013; Accepted 16 December 2013; Published 16 January 2014

Academic Editors: H. J. Haisma and H. Hofler

Copyright © 2014 Akseli Hemminki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Following a century of preclinical and clinical work, oncolytic viruses are now proving themselves in randomized phase 3 trials. Interestingly, human data indicates that these agents have potent immunostimulatory activity, raising the possibility that the key consequence of oncolysis might be induction of antitumor immunity, especially in the context of viruses harboring immunostimulatory transgenes. While safety and efficacy of many types of oncolytic viruses, including adenovirus, herpes, reo, and vaccinia seem promising, few mechanisms of action studies have been performed with human substrates. Thus, the relative contribution of “pure” oncolysis, the immune response resulting from oncolysis, and the added benefit of adding a transgene remain poorly understood. Here, the available clinical data on oncolytic viruses is reviewed, with emphasis on immunological aspects.