Oncolytic poxviruses

Winnie M. Chan, Grant McFadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Current standard treatments of cancer can prolong survival of many cancer patients but usually do not effectively cure the disease. Oncolytic virotherapy is an emerging therapeutic for the treatment of cancer that exploits replication-competent viruses to selectively infect and destroy cancerous cells while sparing normal cells and tissues. Clinical and or preclinical studies on oncolytic viruses have revealed that the candidate viruses being tested in trials are remarkably safe and offer potential for treating many classes of currently incurable cancers. Among these candidates are vaccinia and myxoma viruses, which belong to the family Poxviridae and possess promising oncolytic features. This article describes poxviruses that are being developed for oncolytic virotherapy and summarizes the outcomes of both clinical and preclinical studies. Additionally, studies demonstrating superior efficacy when poxvirus oncolytic virotherapy is combined with conventional therapies are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-214
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 29 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Myxoma virus
  • Oncolytic
  • Vaccinia virus
  • Virotherapeutics
  • Virotherapy
  • Virus tropism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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