H-1 parvovirus as a cancer-killing agent: Past, present, and future

Clemens Bretscher, Antonio Marchini*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)


    The rat protoparvovirus H-1PV is nonpathogenic in humans, replicates preferentially in cancer cells, and has natural oncolytic and oncosuppressive activities. The virus is able to kill cancer cells by activating several cell death pathways. H-1PV-mediated cancer cell death is often immunogenic and triggers anticancer immune responses. The safety and tolerability of H-1PV treatment has been demonstrated in early clinical studies in glioma and pancreatic carcinoma patients. Virus treatment was associated with surrogate signs of efficacy including immune conversion of tumor microenvironment, effective virus distribution into the tumor bed even after systemic administration, and improved patient overall survival compared with historical control. However, monotherapeutic use of the virus was unable to eradicate tumors. Thus, further studies are needed to improve H-1PV’s anticancer profile. In this review, we describe H-1PV’s anticancer properties and discuss recent efforts to improve the efficacy of H-1PV and, thereby, the clinical outcome of H-1PV-based therapies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number562
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


    • Combination therapies
    • H-1PV
    • Oncolytic virus immune therapy
    • Rodent protoparvoviruses
    • Second generation parvovirus treatments


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