Duke Cancer Institute: targeting cancer with oncolytic polioviruses (PVS-RIPO).
Dr. Matthias Gromeier Lab. PVSRIPO is a genetically engineered poliovirus that we are using as an ‘oncolytic virus’ targeting the most malignant and deadly form of brain tumor, glioblastoma (GBM). PVSRIPO works by killing some tumor cells, which forcefully engages the patients’ immune system and sets up an immune response against the tumor.
PVSRIPO is currently in clinical trials at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. These trials are for patients >18 years of age with GBM that returned after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. There currently is no therapy for this terrible disease, which has a very poor prognosis and is invariably fatal. The patients receive a single inoculaDon of PVSRIPO directly into their brain tumor. The first patients enrolled in our trial are alive at >3.5 years after PVSRIPO therapy, are clinical normal and their tumors have disappeared. These patients lead normal lives and do not take any medication other than anti‐seizure drugs due to the scar tissue in their brains. We are now seeing similar responses in a group of patients treated at what we consider the optimal dose of PVSRIPO. Our trial, the parents’ experience and the science behind it were featured on 60 Minutes in March of 2015. 60 Minutes is preparing an update on our trial with much coverage of our patients enrolled in the trial, which likely will air later this year. We are currently preparing to make PVSRIPO available to children with high-grade gliomas and are planning further trials in other types of brain tumors. It is absolutely pivotal to carry forward our research into the mechanisms of PVSRIPO therapy so we can offer the potential benefits of PVSRIPO immunotherapy to more patients and to move toward FDA approval.