November 21, 2013

Poliovirus Vaccine Trial Shows Promise For Recurrent Gliobastoma

In 2010 Stephanie Lipscomb was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor, but it returned two years later. She agreed to take part in the first phase of a research trial at Duke where a modified polio virus is injected directly into the tumor. That was in May of 2012. Fourteen months later the tumor continues to shrink without the use of chemotherapy or radiation.

An attack on glioblastoma brain tumor cells that uses a modified polio virus is showing encouraging results in an early study to establish the proper dose level, researchers at Duke Cancer Institute report.

The treatment, developed at Duke and tested in an ongoing phase 1 study, capitalizes on the discovery that cancer cells have an abundance of receptors that work like magnets drawing the poliovirus, which then infects and kills the cells. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The investigational therapy, known as PVSRIPO, uses an engineered form of the virus that is lethal to cancer cells, while harmless to normal cells. Infused directly into the patient's tumor, the virus-based therapy also triggers the body's immune fighters to launch an attack against the infected tumor cells.

This page last reviewed on April 21, 2015