Adenovirus and immunotherapy: Advancing cancer treatment by combination

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5 Scopus citations


Gene therapy with viral vectors has significantly advanced in the past few decades, with adenovirus being one of the most commonly employed vectors for cancer gene therapy. Adenovirus vectors can be divided into 2 groups: (1) replication-deficient viruses; and (2) replication-competent, oncolytic (OVs) viruses. Replication-deficient adenoviruses have been explored as vaccine carriers and gene therapy vectors. Oncolytic adenoviruses are designed to selectively target, replicate, and directly destroy cancer cells. Additionally, virus-mediated cell lysis releases tumor antigens and induces local inflammation (e.g., immunogenic cell death), which contributes significantly to the reversal of local immune suppression and development of antitumor immune responses (“cold” tumor into “hot” tumor). There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the host immune response may provide a critical boost for the efficacy of oncolytic virotherapy. Additionally, genetic engineering of oncolytic viruses allows local expression of immune therapeutics, thereby reducing related toxicities. Therefore, the combination of oncolytic virus and immunotherapy is an attractive therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment. In this review, we focus on adenovirus-based vectors and discuss recent progress in combination therapy of adenoviruses with immunotherapy in preclinical and clinical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1295
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Adenovirus vector
  • CAR-T cell therapy
  • Checkpoint inhibitor
  • Immunotherapy
  • Oncolytic adenovirus


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