Analyzing the potential use of reovirus as an oncolytic agent
Roy, Justin B.
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Reovirus, which belongs to the Reoviridae family, is a non-enveloped, dsRNA viruse. Known to infect a wide range of hosts including humans, this virus is generally asymptomatic, and a majority of the population expresses anti- reoviurs antibodies from exposure during childhood. Within the last 70 years, this seemingly obscure virus has gained significant attention as a possible oncolytic virus, which as a group possess a number of qualities that make them theoretically ideal as cancer therapeutics. Namely, they are both safe and well tolerated, and specifically infect and destroy malignant cells. Theorizing that reovirus type-3 dearing would selectively infect and mediate cell death in ras activated cells, researchers have attempted to exploit this non-attenuated strain as an oncolytic virus. By analyzing pre-clinical and clinical studies of reovirus, both as a monotherapy and as part of a variety of combination therapies, I show that reovirus therapy is both safe and well tolerated, but with poorly understood efficacy. Further work is required to elucidate the mechanism behind reovirus mediated oncolysis, to fully maximize its oncolytic potential.
Thesis (M.A.)--Boston University