J Cancer 2017; 8(12):2369-2383. doi:10.7150/jca.19473


VSV based virotherapy in ovarian cancer: the past, the present and …future?

Beata Urszula Orzechowska1✉, Marcin Jędryka2,3, Katarzyna Zwolińska1, Rafał Matkowski2,3

1. Laboratory of Virology, Ludwik Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Polish Academy of Sciences, Weigla 12, 53-114, Wroclaw, Poland
2. Division of Surgical Oncology, Gynaecological Oncology, Chemotherapy and Department of Oncology, Wroclaw Medical University, Plac Hirszfelda 12, 53-413 Wrocław, Poland
3. Lower Silesian Oncology Centre, Wroclaw, Plac Hirszfelda 12, 53-413 Wrocław, Poland

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Orzechowska BU, Jędryka M, Zwolińska K, Matkowski R. VSV based virotherapy in ovarian cancer: the past, the present and …future?. J Cancer 2017; 8(12):2369-2383. doi:10.7150/jca.19473. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p2369.htm

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The standard approach to treating patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) after primary debulking surgery remains taxane and platinum-based chemotherapy. Despite treatment with this strategy, the vast majority of patients relapse and develop drug-resistant metastatic disease that may be driven by cancer stem cells (CSCs) or cancer initiating cells (CICs). Oncolytic viruses circumvent typical drug-resistance mechanisms, therefore they may provide a safe and effective alternative treatment for chemotherapy-resistant CSCs/CICs. Among oncolytic viruses vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) has demonstrated oncolysis and preferential replication in cancer cells.

In this review, we summarize the recent findings regarding existing knowledge on biology of the ovarian cancer and the role of ovarian CSCs (OCSCs) in tumor dissemination and chemoresistance. In addition we also present an overview of recent advances in ovarian cancer therapies with oncolytic viruses (OV). We focus particularly on key genetic or immune response pathways involved in tumorigenesis in ovarian cancer which facilitate oncolytic activity of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). We highlight the prospects of targeting OCSCs with VSV. The importance of testing an emerging ovarian cancer animal models and ovarian cancer cell culture conditions influencing oncolytic efficacy of VSV is also addressed.

Keywords: epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), high grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSCs), virotherapy, rhabdovirus, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)