Viruses have two opposing faces. On the one hand, they can cause harm and disease. A virus may manifest directly as a contagious disease with a clinical pathology of varying significance. A viral infection can also have delayed consequences, and in rare cases may cause cellular transformation and cancer. On the other hand, viruses may provide hope: hope for an efficacious treatment of serious disease. Examples of the latter are the use of viruses as a vaccine, as transfer vector for therapeutic genes in a gene therapy setting, or, more directly, as therapeutic anticancer agent in an oncolytic-virus therapy setting. Already there is evidence for antitumor activity of oncolytic viruses. The antitumor efficacy seems linked to their capacity to induce a tumor-directed immune response. Here, we will provide an overview on the development of oncolytic viruses and their clinical evaluation from the Dutch perspective.

dx.doi.org/10.1089/hum.2014.092, hdl.handle.net/1765/88107
Human Gene Therapy
Department of Neurosurgery

Belcaid, Z, Lamfers, M.L.M, Beusechem, V.W, & Hoeben, R.C. (2014). Changing faces in virology: The Dutch shift from oncogenic to oncolytic viruses. Human Gene Therapy, 25(10), 875–884. doi:10.1089/hum.2014.092