Coronavirus pandemic – new challenges in oncotherapy

Minárovits János
Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Fogorvostudományi Kar, Szeged Orálbiológiai és Kísérletes Fogorvostudományi Tanszék, Szeged

This review outlines some of the basic observations related to coronaviruses infecting animals and describes – in a nutshell – the characteristics of human coronaviruses causing mild or severe respiratory diseases in infected individuals. A special attention is given to SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and to the pathomechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which is also accompanied with multiorgan failure in a subset of infected patients. Recently discovered unique molecular features of SARS-CoV-2 are described as well. These molecular cues may affect human to human virus transmission whereas they are absent, remarkably, from the other lung-targeting highly pathogenic human coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-1 and MERS-CoV) which did not spread all over the world. The possibilities of active immunization to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and the development of selective small molecule inhibitors curbing the replication of the virus are also touched upon. The review closes with a few remarks regarding the Hungarian and international recommendations concerning the treatment of SARSCoV-2 infected cancer patients.

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