Pediatric cancer gone viral. Part I: Strategies for utilizing oncolytic herpes simplex virus-1 in children

Academic Article


  • Progress for improving outcomes in pediatric patients with solid tumors remains slow. In addition, currently available therapies are fraught with numerous side effects, often causing significant life-long morbidity for long-term survivors. The use of viruses to kill tumor cells based on their increased vulnerability to infection is gaining traction, with several viruses moving through early and advanced phase clinical testing. The prospect of increased efficacy and decreased toxicity with these agents is thus attractive for pediatric cancer. In part I of this two-part review, we focus on strategies for utilizing oncolytic engineered herpes simplex virus (HSV) to target pediatric malignancies. We discuss mechanisms of action, routes of delivery, and the role of preexisting immunity on antitumor efficacy. Challenges to maximizing oncolytic HSV in children are examined, and we highlight how these may be overcome through various arming strategies. We review the preclinical and clinical evidence demonstrating safety of a variety of oncolytic HSVs. In Part II, we focus on the antitumor efficacy of oncolytic HSV in pediatric tumor types, pediatric clinical advances made to date, and future prospects for utilizing HSV in pediatric patients with solid tumors.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cripe TP; Chen CY; Denton NL; Haworth KB; Hutzen B; Leddon JL; Streby KA; Wang PY; Markert JM; Waters AM
  • Start Page

  • 15015
  • Volume

  • 2