Virus-Based Cancer Therapeutics

Roberto Cattaneo, Christine E. Engeland

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The concept of treating cancer with viruses originates from early 20th century clinical reports associating cancer regression with infections of natural viruses. In the last three decades, viruses have been genetically modified for greater tumor specificity and enhanced oncolytic activity. A modified herpes simplex virus and a recombinant adenovirus are currently licensed for specific cancer treatments. Viruses from other seven families are in advanced clinical trials of oncolysis. Virus-based cancer therapeutics, in combination with chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radiation, are just beginning to find their place in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Virology
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-5, Fourth Edition
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780128145166
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Adenoviridae
  • Cancer treatment
  • Genetic engineering
  • Herpesviridae
  • Oncolysis
  • Paramyxoviridae
  • Parvoviridae
  • Picornaviridae
  • Poxviridae
  • Reoviridae
  • Retroviridae
  • Rhabdoviridae
  • Therapeutic viruses
  • Tumor specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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