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Minerva Biotecnologica 2005 June;17(2):77-92

language: English

Cancer gene therapy with vaccinia virus

Nemunaitis J.

Mary Crowley Medical Research Center, Dallas, TX, USA


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Recent advances in molecular biology, virology, immunology and cancer genetics have led to the design of novel cancer therapeutics based on vaccinia virus backbones. With the ability to efficiently infect a wide range of host cells, a genome to accommodate large DNA inserts and cytoplasmic replication without the possibility of chromosomal integration, vaccinia virus has become the platform of many exploratory therapeutic approaches in oncology. This review will summarize the use of vaccinia virus as: 1) delivery vehicle for anti-cancer transgenes; 2) vaccine carrier for tumor-associated antigens and immunoregulatory molecules in cancer immunotherapy; and 3) oncolytic agent that selectively replicates in and lyses cancer cells. In this review we will first go over the biology of vaccinia virus and then discuss its various applications in cancer therapies.

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