Research ArticleCancer

Neoadjuvant oncolytic virotherapy before surgery sensitizes triple-negative breast cancer to immune checkpoint therapy

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Science Translational Medicine  03 Jan 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 422, eaao1641
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aao1641

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Viruses team up with cancer immunotherapy

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown great promise for cancer therapy, but they do not treat all cancers, and neither breast nor brain tumors are usually treatable with these drugs. However, Bourgeois-Daigneault et al. discovered a way to address this for breast cancer, and Samson et al. discovered a way to address this for brain tumors. In both cases, the authors found that oncolytic virus treatment given early, before surgical resection, alters the antitumor immune response and potentiates the effects of subsequent treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Although these studies differ in the details of their methods and the immune effects induced by the oncolytic viruses, they indicate the potential of such viruses for enhancing the potential of checkpoint therapy and expanding it to new types of cancer.