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Oncolytic Viruses: A Gene Therapy for Treatment of Cancer in Companion Animals

Mohamed Z Sayed-Ahmed, Hafiz A Makeen, Mohsen M Elsherbini, Nabeel K Syed and Sherif M Shoeib

Cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death in companion animals such as dogs and cats. Oncolytic viruses refer to those viruses that will selectively eliminate and lysis cancerous tissues without causing harm to normal tissues. Oncolytic viruses can kill infected cancer cells in many different ways, ranging from direct virusmediated cytotoxicity through a variety of cytotoxic immune effector mechanisms. Treatment of pet cancer with advanced disease stages is very poor prognosis. Therefore, developing unique cancer therapies is essential for work synergistically in combination with the conventional treatment options. Several oncolytic viruses including canine distemper virus, adenovirus strains, and vaccinia virus strains have been used for canine cancer therapy in preclinical studies. This review is focused on the probable use of oncolytic viral agents for canine cancer therapy in the future.