Oncolytic Viruses for the Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma

Megan H. Trager, Larisa J. Geskin, Yvonne M. Saenger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


There is an unmet need for additional treatments for metastatic melanoma, besides anti-PD1 antibodies which are FDA approved for adjuvant therapy for stage III or resected stage IV melanoma. Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is the first and only FDA-approved oncolytic virus for the treatment of melanoma. New viral vectors including coxsackieviruses, HF-10, adenovirus, reovirus, echovirus, and newcastle disease virus are currently under active development and investigation with varying degrees of efficacy in targeting melanoma. The use of T-VEC as a neoadjuvant therapy is emerging, but more data is needed at this point. T-VEC has also shown promise for use in combination therapy with ipilimumab, as T-VEC plus ipilimumab has a significantly higher objective response compared to ipilimumab alone. Data comparing T-VEC in combination with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors is awaited, and a phase III trial is underway. It is likely that oncolytic viruses will have long-term application in the treatment of melanoma and that T-VEC in particular will continue to have a role in the treatment of patients with readily accessible cutaneous lesions both for local control and synergistic induction of antitumor immunity as part of combination therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number26
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Melanoma
  • Oncolytic virus
  • Talimogene laherparepvec
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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