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Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are novel anticancer agents that combine direct cancer cell killing with the stimulation of antitumor immunity. In addition, OVs can be engineered to deliver biological therapeutics directly to tumors, offering unique opportunities to design multimodal anticancer strategies. Here, a case for arming OVs with bispecific T cell engagers (BiTEs) is put forward. BiTEs redirect the cytotoxicity of polyclonal T cells to target cells of choice, and have demonstrated efficacy against a number of hematological cancers. However, the success of BiTEs in the treatment of solid tumors appears more limited, at least in part due to: (i) poor delivery kinetics and penetration into tumors, and (ii) on-target off-tumor activity, leading to dose-limiting toxicities. Linking the production of BiTEs to OV replication provides an exciting means to restrict production to the tumor site, widen their therapeutic window, and synergize with direct oncolysis. This review summarizes progress thus far in the preclinical development of BiTE-armed OVs, and explores the possibility of cotargeting cancer cells and nontransformed stromal cells.

Original publication




Journal article


Macromol Biosci

Publication Date





T cell therapy, Tumor microenvironment, bispecific T cell engagers, immunotherapy, oncolytic viruses, Humans, Immunotherapy, Neoplasms, Oncolytic Virotherapy, Oncolytic Viruses, T-Lymphocytes