Targeting cancer stem cells with oncolytic virus

Yin Tong, Wenbin Qian


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) represent a distinct subpopulation of cancer cells which are shown to be relatively resistant to conventional anticancer therapies and have been correlated to disease recurrence. Oncolytic viruses utilize methods of cell killing that differ from traditional therapies and thus are able to elude the typical mechanisms that CSCs use to resist current chemotherapies and radiotherapies. Moreover, genetically engineered oncolytic viruses may further augment the oncolytic effects. Here we review the recent data regarding the ability of several oncolytic viruses to eradicate CSCs.