Deciphering the multifaceted relationship between oncolytic viruses and natural killer cells

Christopher A. Alvarez-Breckenridge, Jianhua Yu, Balveen Kaur, Michael A. Caligiuri, E. Antonio Chiocca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Despite active research in virotherapy, this apparently safe modality has not achieved widespread success. The immune response to viral infection appears to be an essential factor that determines the efficacy of oncolytic viral therapy. The challenge is determining whether the viral-elicited immune response is a hindrance or a tool for viral treatment. NK cells are a key component of innate immunity that mediates antiviral immunity while also coordinating tumor clearance. Various reports have suggested that the NK response to oncolytic viral therapy is a critical factor in premature viral clearance while also mediating downstream antitumor immunity. As a result, particular attention should be given to the NK cell response to various oncolytic viral vectors and how their antiviral properties can be suppressed while maintaining tumor clearance. In this review we discuss the current literature on the NK response to oncolytic viral infection and how future studies clarify this intricate response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number702839
JournalAdvances in Virology
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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