Oncolytic viruses have shown promise for treating solid tumors by inhibiting tumor growth. The latest review published by Immunotherapy discusses the safety and efficacy of talimogene laherparepvec, an oncolytic immunotherapy, in melanoma and other solid tumors.
Intratumoral immunotherapy inhibits tumor growth by killing injected tumor cells, thus initiating local and systemic immune responses. Oncolytic viruses are a novel class of intratumoral immunotherapies that show promise for treating solid tumors. Talimogene laherparepvec is a first-in-class, genetically-modified, herpes simplex virus type 1–based oncolytic immunotherapy approved for the local treatment of unresectable cutaneous, subcutaneous, and nodal lesions in patients with melanoma recurrent after initial surgery. This review highlights the dual mechanism of action for talimogene laherparepvec (direct tumor cell lysis and stimulation of local response in tumor microenvironment and systemic immune response in distant metastases), summarizes key preclinical and clinical trials evaluating efficacy and safety of talimogene laherparepvec in melanoma, and describes studies ongoing in other solid tumors.