Cancer therapy with Newcastle disease virus: rationale for new immunotherapeutic combinations

Author(s): Tamar Plitt & Dmitriy Zamarin

Cancer immunotherapy with Newcastle disease virus (NDV) dates back to 1960s, when intratumoral treatment of a cervical cancer patient was noted to result in an abscopal effect with distant tumor regression. Since then, multiple preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the inherent ability of NDV to increase immunogenicity of tumor cells. Recently, these properties were explored in animal models within the context of novel immunotherapies such as antibodies targeting immune checkpoints, with demonstration of induction of systemic antitumor immunity and regression of tumors not directly affected by the virus. These studies highlight the immunotherapeutic potential of NDV and provide a strong rationale for exploration of NDV and perhaps other oncolytic viruses in combination with immunomodulatory antibodies in the clinic.