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06
Jul
2018

Viral immunotherapy for paediatric brain tumours shows promise

 
Principle Investigator of the study, Gregory Friedman, M.D.  

A viral immunotherapy using a genetically engineered version of the herpes virus to treat high-grade glioma, has been shown to be safe and well tolerated in a paediatric clinical trial. Preliminary findings of the trial, conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Children’s of Alabama, were presented this week at the International Symposium on Paediatric Neuro-Oncology in Denver.

Virus G207, derived from the herpes virus responsible for cold sores, has been engineered by researchers to selectively target and infect tumour cells. Once inside a tumour cell, the virus replicates, causing the cell to die and simultaneously, igniting the body’s immune response to fight the tumour.

To date, six paediatric patients have been treated with virus G207. Five of the six patients on the trial showed evidence of tumour cell death by the virus, including one patient who has reportedly had an ongoing response to the therapy for over 18 months, without any other form of interventional treatment.

 “Our findings indicate that G207 is safe and tolerable in children with progressive malignant brain tumours,” said Gregory Friedman, M.D., primary investigator of the study and an associate professor in the UAB Division of Paediatric Hematology-Oncology in the Department of Paediatrics, and Children’s of Alabama and an associate scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Centre. “Preliminary evidence of efficacy is very promising to date. The next phase of the study will test the safety of G207 combined with a single low dose of radiation, which is being used to enhance virus replication and the immune response against the tumour, within 24 hours of virus inoculation.”

Read the full results