Oncolytic viruses can be usefully integrated into tumour immunotherapies, as they target multiple steps within the cancer–immunity cycle. Oncolytic viruses directly lyse tumour cells, leading to the release of soluble antigens, danger signals and type I interferons, which drive antitumour immunity. In addition, some oncolytic viruses can be engineered to express therapeutic genes or can functionally alter tumour-associated endothelial cells, further enhancing T cell recruitment into immune-excluded or immune-deserted tumour microenvironments. Oncolytic viruses can also utilize established tumours as an in situ source of neoantigen vaccination through cross-presentation, resulting in regression of distant, uninfected tumours. These features make oncolytic viruses attractive agents for combination strategies to optimize cancer immunotherapy.
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The authors thank R. Coffin for review of the manuscript and helpful comments and suggestions.
H.L.K. is an employee of Replimune, Inc. The remaining authors declare no competing interests.
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Bommareddy, P.K., Shettigar, M. & Kaufman, H.L. Integrating oncolytic viruses in combination cancer immunotherapy. Nat Rev Immunol 18, 498–513 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577-018-0014-6
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