Oncolytic virotherapy has been investigated for several decades and is emerging as a plausible biological therapy with several ongoing clinical trials and two viruses are now approved for cancer treatment in humans. The direct cytotoxicity and immune-stimulatory effects make oncolytic viruses an interesting strategy for cancer treatment. In this review, we summarize the results of in vitro and in vivo published studies of oncolytic viruses in different phases of evaluation in dogs, using PubMed and Google scholar as search platforms, without time restrictions (to date). Natural and genetically modified oncolytic viruses were evaluated with some encouraging results. The most studied viruses to date are the reovirus, myxoma virus, and vaccinia, tested mostly in solid tumors such as osteosarcomas, mammary gland tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, and mastocytomas. Although the results are promising, there are issues that need addressing such as ensuring tumor specificity, developing optimal dosing, circumventing preexisting antibodies from previous exposure or the development of antibodies during treatment, and assuring a reasonable safety profile, all of which are required in order to make this approach a successful therapy in dogs.
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