Front. Oncol., 21 July 2014 |

Oncolytic viruses as anticancer vaccines

  • Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Germany

Oncolytic virotherapy has shown impressive results in preclinical studies and first promising therapeutic outcomes in clinical trials as well. Since viruses are known for a long time as excellent vaccination agents, oncolytic viruses are now designed as novel anticancer agents combining the aspect of lysis-dependent cytoreductive activity with concomitant induction of antitumoral immune responses. Antitumoral immune activation by oncolytic virus infection of tumor tissue comprises both, immediate effects of innate immunity and also adaptive responses for long lasting antitumoral activity, which is regarded as the most prominent challenge in clinical oncology. To date, the complex effects of a viral tumor infection on the tumor microenvironment and the consequences for the tumor-infiltrating immune cell compartment are poorly understood. However, there is more and more evidence that a tumor infection by an oncolytic virus opens up a number of options for further immunomodulating interventions such as systemic chemotherapy, generic immunostimulating strategies, dendritic cell-based vaccines, and antigenic libraries to further support clinical efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy.

Keywords: oncolytic virotherapy, oncolytic virus, antitumor immunity, antitumor immune response, oncolytic agents

Citation: Woller N, Gürlevik E, Ureche C-I, Schumacher A and Kühnel F (2014) Oncolytic viruses as anticancer vaccines. Front. Oncol. 4:188. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00188

Received: 10 June 2014; Paper pending published: 26 June 2014;
Accepted: 06 July 2014; Published online: 21 July 2014.

Edited by:

Philippe Fournier, German Cancer Research Center, Germany

Reviewed by:

Volker Schirrmacher, German Cancer Research Center, Germany
Zong Sheng Guo, Harvard University, USA

Copyright: © 2014 Woller, Gürlevik, Ureche, Schumacher and Kühnel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

*Correspondence: Florian Kühnel, Clinic for Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Medical School Hannover, Carl Neuberg Street 1, Hannover 30625, Germany e-mail:

Norman Woller and Engin Gürlevik have contributed equally to this work.