Smart Oncolytic Adenovirotherapy to Induce Killing of Cancer Cells and Elicit Antitumor Immunity


  • Laura Enekegho Biochemistry
  • David Stuart Department of Biochemistry



Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, accounting for over 30% of all deaths in Canada. Various chemotherapy and therapeutic agents are currently in practice to help combat and treat cancerous growths and to lead to cancer remission. Virotherapy is an emerging treatment that uses biotechnology to convert viruses into therapeutic agents for the treatment of specific types of cancer. This process reprograms viruses to become oncolytic and target tumor cells in the body for lysis. It also uses these viruses to recruit inflammatory and vaccination responses by the immune system to help kill surrounding tumor cells while also establishing a long immune memory to help in the case of later infections. Adenoviruses are a group of viruses that infect the membranes of the respiratory tract, eyes, intestines, urinary tract, and nervous system of humans and causing fever as well as many cold symptoms. It is also a commonly used oncolytic virus and has been demonstrated in recent studies to be a great potential tool for eliciting appropriate inflammatory responses from the immune system to kill cancer cells and inducing cell-mediated immunity to prevent against later re-infection by the specific cancer type. Advances to this virotherapy has progressed towards overcoming tumor-mediated immunosuppression, which usually allows cancerous cells to evade the immune system and escape cell destruction, especially when combined with other therapy treatments. (Goradel et al., 2019). This review will focus on the mechanism as to how engineered modified viruses stimulate the immune system for cell killing and cell-mediated immunity. There will also be an examination of several research papers with some evidence to understand the synergy being oncolytic adenovirotherapy and the immune system function to kill cancer cells. Some disadvantages and issues with using this form of therapeutic treatment will also be presented, as well as some present and future research operating to fix these issues as well as increase the overall efficacy of this cancer treatment oncolytic adenovirotherapy.


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Author Biography

David Stuart, Department of Biochemistry

Dr. David Stuart is a professor and the graduate program coordinator at the department of biochemistry here at the University of Alberta.


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How to Cite

Enekegho, L., & Stuart, D. (2022). Smart Oncolytic Adenovirotherapy to Induce Killing of Cancer Cells and Elicit Antitumor Immunity. Eureka, 7(1).