Multiple myeloma is a malignancy of B-cells that is characterized by the clonal expansion and accumulation of malignant plasma cells in the bone marrow. This disease remains incurable, and a median survival of 3-5 years has been reported with the use of current treatments. Viral-based therapies offer promising alternatives or possible integration with current therapeutic regimens. Among several gene therapy vectors and oncolytic agents, adenovirus has emerged as a promising agent, and it is already being used for the treatment of solid tumors in humans. The main concern with the clinical use of this vector has been its high immunogenicity; adenovirus is often able to induce a strong immune response in the host. Furthermore, new limitations in the efficacy of this therapy, intrinsic to the nature of tumor cells, have been recently observed. For example, our group showed a strong antiviral phenotype in vitro and in vivo in a subset of tumors, shedding new insights that may explain the partial failure of clinical trials based on this promising new therapy. In this review, we describe novel therapeutic approaches that implement viral-based treatments in hematological malignancies and address the novelty as well as the possible limitations of these new therapies, especially in the context of the use of adenoviral vectors for treating multiple myeloma.
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