Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Trials show promise of human virus to treat head and neck cancer patients

Date:
April 1, 2012
Source:
Institute of Cancer Research
Summary:
A naturally-occurring harmless human virus may be able to boost the effects of two standard chemotherapy drugs in some cancer patients, according to early stage trial data. Cancers shrank for about one third of the patients who could be evaluated, and disease stabilized for a further third. For one patient, all signs of their cancer disappeared.

A naturally-occurring harmless human virus may be able to boost the effects of two standard chemotherapy drugs in some cancer patients, according to early stage trial data published April 1 in Clinical Cancer Research. Cancers shrank for about one third of the patients who could be evaluated, and disease stabilized for a further third. For one patient, all signs of their cancer disappeared.

RT3D, trade name Reolysin, is a new drug developed by Oncolytics Biotech Inc with preclinical and clinical studies conducted at The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) and The Royal Marsden Hospital. It is based on a virus (reovirus type 3 Dearing) that is found in almost all adults' respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts without causing any symptoms.

RT3D has the ability to grow in and kill certain types of cancer cells, but does not grow in normal cells.

Previous trials injecting patients with the virus on its own showed limited effectiveness, but the team found that RT3D appeared to magnify the effects of platin and taxane-based chemotherapy on tumour cells.

Dr Kevin Harrington and colleagues in Leeds therefore started a clinical trial testing intravenous RT3D in combination with chemotherapeutics carboplatin and paclitaxel in 31 patients with advanced cancers who had stopped responding to standard treatments.

An initial Phase I study was carried out in patients with a range of advanced cancers, which showed the drug combination was safe. Side-effects were found to be generally mild, and consistent with chemotherapy alone.

Patients with head and neck cancers were found to have the best responses, so a Phase II expansion study at The Royal Marsden Hospital, London, and St James's Hospital, Leeds, was therefore targeted to patients with these types of cancers.

Cancers shrank for about one third of the patients who could be evaluated, and disease stabilised for a further third. For one patient, all signs of their cancer disappeared.

"We saw really very impressive response rates in these patients. These are patients whose cancers had grown despite a great deal of previous treatment, including platinum-based chemotherapy for many," Dr Harrington, Leader of the ICR's Targeted Therapy Team and Consultant Oncologist at The Royal Marsden, said. "Under those circumstances, we'd expect that the average response rate to chemotherapy alone might be as low as single digits figures and the average survival would be somewhere between three to four months. In our Phase I/II study we show this had been prolonged to an average of seven months, albeit not in a randomised trial."

"Based on the results of this study we've now started recruiting patients with advanced head and neck cancer to a randomised Phase III trial, in which all patients will receive chemotherapy and half will receive Reolysin as well. We are extremely excited about this progress."

The study also found the virus was not shed after treatment. This means people could be given the drug as outpatients as no risk was found that they could transmit the virus to others.

Head and neck cancers include tumours of the eye, nasal cavity, tongue, gums, lip, cheeks, voice box and esophagus. Around 650,000 people are diagnosed with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck each year worldwide, and around 350,000 die from the disease annually.

Notes to editors: Phase I/II trial of carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy in combination with intravenous oncolytic reovirus in patients with advanced malignancies with first author Eleni M. Karapanagiotou from the ICR and The Royal Marsden publishes in the print edition of Clinical Cancer Research on April 1.

The Phase III trial is recruiting patients with head and neck cancer who have already been treated with platinum but not taxane.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Cancer Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. M. Karapanagiotou, V. Roulstone, K. Twigger, M. Ball, M. Tanay, C. Nutting, K. Newbold, M. E. Gore, J. Larkin, K. N. Syrigos, M. Coffey, B. Thompson, K. Mettinger, R. G. Vile, H. S. Pandha, G. D. Hall, A. A. Melcher, J. Chester, K. J. Harrington. Phase I/II Trial of Carboplatin and Paclitaxel Chemotherapy in Combination with Intravenous Oncolytic Reovirus in Patients with Advanced Malignancies. Clinical Cancer Research, 2012; DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-11-2181

Cite This Page:

Institute of Cancer Research. "Trials show promise of human virus to treat head and neck cancer patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120401105351.htm>.
Institute of Cancer Research. (2012, April 1). Trials show promise of human virus to treat head and neck cancer patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120401105351.htm
Institute of Cancer Research. "Trials show promise of human virus to treat head and neck cancer patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120401105351.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins