41 Citations (Scopus)


Oncolytic virotherapy has recently emerged as a promising strategy for inducing tumor-specific cell death. Adenoviruses are widely and frequently used in oncolytic virotherapy. The mechanism of oncolytic adenovirus-mediated tumor suppression involves virus-induced activation of the autophagic machinery in tumor cells. Autophagy is a cytoprotective process that produces energy via lysosomal degradation of intracellular components as a physiologic response to various stresses, including hypoxia, nutrient deprivation, and disruption of growth signaling. However, infection with oncolytic adenoviruses induces autophagy and subsequent death of tumor cells rather than enhancing their survival. In this review, we summarize the beneficial role of autophagy in oncolytic adenoviral therapy, including the roles of infection, replication, and cell lysis. Numerous factors are involved in the promotion and inhibition of oncolytic adenovirus-mediated autophagy. Furthermore, recent evidence has shown that oncolytic adenoviruses induce autophagy-related immunogenic cell death (ICD), which enhances the antitumor immune response by inducing the activation of danger signal molecules and thus represents a novel cancer immunotherapy. Understanding the precise role of oncolytic adenovirus-induced autophagy and ICD could enhance the therapeutic potential of oncolytic adenoviral therapy for treating various cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1479
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 10 2017


  • Autophagy
  • Immunogenic cell death
  • Oncolytic adenovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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