There are some tumors, which, unfortunately, are very poorly amenable to treatment, so they require a different approach. One of the options are modified viruses that do not cause harm to humans, but affect the tumor. This is what has been accomplished by the researchers from Duke University, who were able to overcome one of the most aggressive tumors – glioblastoma.
Glioblastoma is one of the most common brain tumors, are extremely difficult to treat. According to statistics, most patients do not survive more than 20 months after diagnosis. Moreover, glioblastoma is extremely often recurs, appearing even after seemingly positive outcome of treatment. While the course is everything: chemotherapy, radiation therapy and even surgical treatment in cases when it is possible.
For the solution of difficult tasks, the researchers decided to use a modified version of the polio virus. The fact that this virus is tropic to the nervous tissue, and in particular, to the protein CD155. Glioblastoma produces this protein in excess, but use a pathogenic version of the impossible and inhuman. To this end, the experts agreed that the version of the poliovirus, which was called PVSRIPO. It effectively recognizes CD155 and contributes to the destruction of malignant cells without affecting healthy. Moreover, PVSRIPO stimulates the activity of the immune system, spurring her to fight with disease.
During a series of experiments were selected 61 patients with recurrent (that is, one that has returned after treatment) form of glioblastoma. 21% of the patients who underwent the therapy PVSRIPO, could survive for more than 3 years. In another control group who did not receive treatment, more than 3 years, only 4% of patients. However, of those who receive treatment are still alive 2 patients. And the experiment, by the way, lasts for 6 years. Now the researchers plan to continue studying the drug and find out how it will be effective in combination with other types of anticancer therapy.