Oncolytic Viruses as Therapeutic Tools for Pediatric Brain Tumors
Maider Varela-Guruceaga, Sonia Tejada-Solís, Marc García-Moure, Juan Fueyo, Candelaria Gomez-Manzano, Ana Patiño-García, Marta M Alonso
In recent years, we have seen an important progress in our comprehension of the molecular basis of pediatric brain tumors (PBTs). However, they still represent the main cause of death by disease in children. Due to the poor prognosis of some types of PBTs and the long-term adverse effects associated with the traditional treatments, oncolytic viruses (OVs) have emerged as an interesting therapeutic option since they displayed safety and high tolerability in pre-clinical and clinical levels. In this review, we summarize the OVs evaluated in different types of PBTs, mostly in pre-clinical studies, and we discuss the possible future direction of research in this field.
In this sense, one important aspect of OVs antitumoral effect is the stimulation of an immune response against the tumor which is necessary for a complete response in preclinical immunocompetent models and in the clinic. The role of the immune system in the response of OVs needs to be evaluated in PBTs and represents an experimental challenge due to the limited immunocompetent models of these diseases available for pre-clinical research.