Reovirus-based therapy for cancer

Kevin Kelly, Steffan Nawrocki, Alain Mita, Matthew Coffey, Francis J. Giles, Monica Mita

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Reovirus is an oncolytic virus that is not associated with significant disease in humans, but is selectively able to replicate in cancer cells through exploitation of abnormal Ras signaling. Pre-clinical studies have demonstrated that treatment with reovirus is associated with significant anticancer activity across a range of tumor types. Reolysin is a proprietary formulation of the human reovirus developed by Oncolytics Biotech. Clinical evaluation of reovirus therapy has shown that it is well tolerated when administered locally or systemically. Encouraging anticancer efficacy has been observed with single-agent treatment and in combination with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. PhaseII studies are currently evaluating reovirus alone and in combination with standard therapy in an array of tumor types. While immune sensitization hinders the anticancer efficacy of reovirus, it is important in preventing systemic toxicity. Immunosuppressive strategies are being developed that reduce immune neutralization of the virus to allow for improved tumor penetration, but retain sufficient antibody levels to protect normal tissues. The lack of toxicity and promising efficacy of reovirus has raised hopes that it will become an established anticancer agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)817-830
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Clinical trials
  • Oncolysis
  • Reovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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