Novel therapeutic regimens are needed to improve the dismal outcomes of patients with esophageal cancer as it is the 9th most common malignancy and the 6th most frequent cause of cancer related deaths worldwide. The major goal of anti-cancer therapies is to destroy the tumor cells with little damage to the surrounding normal cells. Oncolytic viruses are experimental agents that are intended to target and kill various types of cancer cells, leaving normal cells healthy.
Two novel oncolytic viruses, Reovirus and Coxsackievirus, were investigated for the possible treatment of esophageal cancer by determining whether these two agents can replicate and kill esophageal cancer cells in vitro by apoptosis. Both viruses meet this goal and Reovirus appears to be the most effective.