Adenovirus (Ad)-based cancer gene therapy is a promising, novel approach for treating cancer resistant to established treatment modalities. Unfortunately, the efficacy of nonreplicative first generation Ads was low and data from clinical trials were disappointing. To address this problem, conditionally replicating Ads have been constructed. Infection of tumor cells with conditionally replicating Ads results in tumor-specific replication, subsequent oncolysis and release of the virus progeny. Recently, it has been suggested that the low expression of the coxsackie-Ad receptor is the rate-limiting factor for infectivity with serotype 5 (Ad5). Unfortunately, coxsackie-Ad receptor expression is highly variable and often low on many tumor types. Consequently, molecular strategies have been applied for the development of coxsackie-Ad receptor-independent oncolytic Ads. This review describes recent developments of Ad-based cancer gene therapy, including novel engineering techniques of the Ad capsid for efficient tumor targeting, as well as targeting techniques, to restrict transgene expression to cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-144
Number of pages8
JournalFuture Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Adenovirus
  • Cancer
  • Oncolytic virus
  • Review
  • Vector targeting
  • Virotherapy


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