Conditionally replicative adenovirus (CRAd) vectors are novel vectors with utility as virotherapy agents for alternative cancer therapies. These vectors have already established a broad safety record in humans and overcome some of the limitations of non-replicative adenovirus (Ad) vectors. In addition, one potential problem with these vectors, attainment of tumor or tissue selectivity has widely been addressed. However, two confounding problems limiting efficacy of these drug candidates remains. The paucity of the native Ad receptor on tumor tissues, and host humoral response due to pre-existing titers of neutralizing antibodies against the vector itself in humans have been highlighted in the clinical context. The well-characterized CRAd, AdΔ24-RGD, is infectivity enhanced, thus overcoming the lack of coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor (CAR), and this agent is already rapidly progressing towards clinical translation. However, the perceived host humoral response potentially will limit gains seen from the infectivity enhancement and therefore a strategy to blunt immunity against the vector is required. On the basis of this caveat a novel strategy, termed shielding, has been developed in which the genetic modification of a virion capsid protein would provide uniformly shielded Ad vectors. The identification of the pIX capsid protein as an ideal locale for genetic incorporation of shielding ligands to conceal the Ad vector from pre-existing neutralizing antibodies is a major progression in the development of shielded CRAds. Preliminary data utilizing an Ad vector with HSV-TK fused to the pIX protein indicates that a shield against neutralizing antibodies can be achieved. The utility of various proteins as shielding molecules is currently being addressed. The creation of AdΔ24S-RGD, an infectivity enhanced and shielded Ad vector will provide the next step in the development of clinically and commercially feasible CRAds that can be dosed multiple times for maximum effectiveness in the fight against cancers in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1419
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Adenovirus
  • Cancer
  • Shielded
  • Targeted
  • Vector


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