Oncolytic measles virus strains as novel anticancer agents

Pavlos Msaouel, Mateusz Opyrchal, Evidio Domingo Musibay, Evanthia Galanis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Introduction: Replication-competent oncolytic measles virus (MV) strains preferentially infect and destroy a wide variety of cancer tissues. Clinical translation of engineered attenuated MV vaccine derivatives is demonstrating the therapeutic potential and negligible pathogenicity of these strains in humans. Areas covered: The present review summarizes the mechanisms of MV tumor selectivity and cytopathic activity as well as the current data on the oncolytic efficacy and preclinical testing of MV strains. Investigational strategies to reprogram MV selectivity, escape antiviral immunity and modulate the immune system to enhance viral delivery and tumor oncolysis are also discussed. Expert opinion: Clinical viral kinetic data derived from noninvasive monitoring of reporter transgene expression will guide future protocols to enhance oncolytic MV efficacy. Anti-measles immunity is a major challenge of measles-based therapeutics and various strategies are being investigated to modulate immunity. These include the combination of MV therapy with immunosuppressive drugs, such as cyclophosphamide, the use of cell carriers and the introduction of immunomodulatory transgenes and wild-type virulence genes. Available MV retargeting technologies can address safety considerations that may arise as more potent oncolytic MV vectors are being developed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-502
Number of pages20
JournalExpert opinion on biological therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are supported by grants from the National Institutes of Heath National Cancer Institute (NIH/NICI) R01 CA154348, R01 CA136547, P50 CA136393 and P50 CA108961. The authors state no conflict of interest and have received no payment in preparation of this manuscript.


  • Cancer gene therapy
  • Cell carriers
  • MV-NIS
  • Measles virus
  • Oncolytic virotherapy


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