A Mini-review on Oncolytic Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV): From Highly Contagious Virus to a Biological Tool for Cancer Therapy

Syed Umar Faruq Syed Najmuddin1, Ammar Akram Kamarudin2, Nur, Atikah Abdul Latif3, Mohd Nor Faiz Norrrahim4, Nur Amira Solehah Pungut1, *
1 Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia, Sabah, Malaysia
2 Natural Medicine and Product Research Laboratory (NaturMeds), Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Seri Kembangan, Malaysia
3 Laboratory of Vaccine and Biomolecules (VacBio), Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra, Seri Kembangan, Malaysia
4 Research Center for Chemical Defence, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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© 2023 Najmuddin et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia, Sabah, Malaysia; Tel: +6088320000-104741; E-mail:


Newcastle disease virus is a highly contagious viral infection affecting a plethora of avian species with distinct levels of susceptibility. It exerts a significant economic impact in certain countries due to its pathogenic nature, causing high mortality and morbidity rates. It is well characterized that the Newcastle disease virus is among the avian paramyxovirus serotypes, which could be easily disseminated through contaminated feed, water, and others. In view of its capability to thrive in extreme conditions, the exploration of Newcastle disease virus, as an oncolytic agent, has been gaining interest over the last few years. It is widely utilized as a vector in vaccine development for both humans and animals. The versatility in transcription, low deoxyribonucleic acid phase during replication, as well as low recombinant frequency makes Newcastle disease virus a major reason in the development of cancer vaccines. This review highlights the current understanding of its biology, associated with advanced molecular biology tools as oncolytic agents. Given that Newcastle disease virus is still in the early stage of clinical trials as oncolytic agents, deeper exploration of preclinical studies is necessary to ensure its safety and efficacy.

Keywords: Newcastle disease virus, Cancer therapy, Cancer adjuvant, Recombinant newcastle disease virus, Molecular biology, Oncolytic newcastle disease virus.