Use of attenuated paramyxoviruses for cancer therapy

Patrycja J. Lech, Stephen J. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Paramyxoviruses, measles virus (MV), mumps virus (MuV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV), are well known for causing measles and mumps in humans and Newcastle disease in birds. These viruses have been tamed (attenuated) and successfully used as vaccines to immunize their hosts. Remarkably, pathogenic MuV and vaccine strains of MuV, MV and NDV efficiently infect and kill cancer cells and are consequently being investigated as novel cancer therapies (oncolytic virotherapy). Phase I/II clinical trials have shown promise but treatment efficacy needs to be enhanced. Technologies being developed to increase treatment efficacy include: virotherapy in combination with immunosuppressive drugs (cyclophosphamide); retargeting of viruses to specific tumor types or tumor vasculature; using infected cell carriers to protect and deliver the virus to tumors; and genetic manipulation of the virus to increase viral spread and/or express transgenes during viral replication. Transgenes have enabled noninvasive imaging or tracking of viral gene expression and enhancement of tumor destruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1302
Number of pages28
JournalExpert review of vaccines
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


  • CEA
  • NIS
  • Newcastle disease virus
  • antitumor immunity
  • cancer
  • cell carriers
  • clinical trials
  • immune response
  • measles virus
  • mumps virus
  • noninvasive imaging
  • oncolytic
  • radiovirotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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