James Allison Discusses the Potentiation of Checkpoint Blockage with Oncolytic Viruses

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James P. Allison, PhD, director, immunotherapy platform, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Giant of Cancer Care, discusses the potentiation of immune checkpoint blockade cancer immunotherapy with oncolytic virus.

James P. Allison, PhD, director, immunotherapy platform, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Giant of Cancer Care, discusses the potentiation of immune checkpoint blockade cancer immunotherapy with oncolytic viruses.

The checkpoint blockage works by enhancing priming of T cells when tumor cells are being killed, which causes an inflammatory response, Allison says. Oncolytic viruses either cause an innate immune response or kill the tumor cells while excreting antigens that lead to more priming of T cells.

Allison says research has shown that when a virus accomplishes both of these things, the priming of the T cells can be potentiated by immune checkpoint blockade.

Researchers are working on a second generation of oncoloytic viruses that cause co-stimulation of T cells, which will increase the efficacy, Allison says.

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