New Combinations May Extend Survival

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Could new combinations improve outcomes for patients with the most aggressive brain tumors? Image credit: Amornrat Phuchom/Getty Images.
  • Researchers studied a novel combination therapy involving an oncolytic virus and immunotherapy for recurrent glioblastoma.
  • This treatment increased survival from 6-8 months to 12.5 months.
  • Further research is needed to apply this therapy to patients.

Glioblastoma is the most common aggressive form It causes brain tumors in adults. 49.1% Among all primary malignant brain tumors.

around it 14,000 cases Glioblastoma is diagnosed annually in the United are 1.6 times Women are more likely to develop this condition, and Caucasians are more likely to have glioblastoma than other ethnicities.

The current standard of care for newly diagnosed patients includes surgery and chemoradiation.However, the condition recur Many of these patients develop symptoms after treatment.

On average, patients with glioblastoma survive 6-8 months The 5-year survival rate after initial diagnosis is 6.8%.

Research into effective therapies is essential to improve outcomes and survival in patients with glioblastoma.

Recently, researchers investigated the safety and efficacy of a new treatment that combines oncolytic viruses (genetically modified viruses that target and kill cancer cells) and intravenous immunotherapy.

The treatment eradicated the tumor in certain patients and increased median survival from 6-8 months to 12.5 months.

Dr. Jay Jiguan Zhusaid a neuro-oncologist at UT Health Houston’s McGovern School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study. Today’s medical news:

“[This study] Show the world that such a combination is possible and safe. Exciting and meaningful work! It also has the potential to help glioblastoma patients given current dosages and regimens. However, further improvements to this regimen are expected to bring more benefits to patients with glioblastoma. “

This research Nature.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a type of immunotherapy that works by blocking specific proteins that moderate immune function. Doing so prevents the immune system from turning off before the cancer cells die.

ICI improved outcomes in a variety of cancers, with the following results: exclusive Because the microenvironment is immunosuppressive in glioblastoma, the study showed that oncolytic viruses may render the tumor microenvironment more susceptible to ICI.

Dr. Manmeet S. AlwaliaThe director, deputy director and chief scientific officer of Solid Tumor Medical Oncology at the Miami Cancer Institute, part of Baptist Health, said he was not involved in the study. MNT Or “[o]Oncolytic viruses are a type of virus designed or modified to selectively infect and destroy cancer cells while sparing healthy cells. “

“Combined with oncolytic viruses, checkpoint inhibitors may further enhance the activation and proliferation of tumor-specific T cells, resulting in improved tumor control,” he said.

For this study, researchers conducted a phase 1/2 clinical trial treating recurrent glioblastoma via an oncolytic virus. pembrolizumab — ICIs used to treat conditions such as lung cancer, head and neck cancer. melanoma.

To do so, they enrolled 49 glioblastoma patients with an average age of 53 years.All patients previously radiotherapy Temozolomide – A drug that works by stopping the growth of cancer cells in the body.

In this trial, patients received one dose of oncolytic virus, followed seven days later by pembrolizumab for an average of 153 days. Three patients completed her 2 years of pembrolizumab therapy.

Ultimately, only 10.4% of patients responded to this combination. However, the patient’s survival time was an average of 12.5 months, a significant increase compared to his 6-8 months with existing treatments.

On the other hand, 56.2% of patients reported stable or good disease, and 3 patients completed treatment with durable responses and were alive after 45, 48 and 60 months. .

Dr. Naveed WaggleNeuro-Oncologist and Translational Associate Professor, Pacific Neuroscience Institute, Santa Monica, CA neuroscience A researcher at the St. John’s Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., who was not involved in the study, said: MNT:

“The brain is thought to be a protective environment that prevents most immune processes from functioning as they do in the body. […] In cancer therapy, unfortunately, it also means that many immunotherapies are not very effective in treating brain cancer, or even glioma. “

“In this study, researchers used an oncolytic virus that selectively replicates inside cancer cells, allowing the immune system to target these cells. It is also possible that immunotherapies such as drugs will act on these cells,” he added.

When asked what the study’s findings mean for treating glioblastoma, Dr. Waggle said the research is still in its early stages. He noted that while the dosage has shown good safety results, the study does not show that the therapy is effective in treating glioma.

“The results are encouraging but not definitive for efficacy. The study is not large enough to assess the effectiveness of this type of treatment,” he noted.

“The main positive implication of this study is that oncolytic viruses may alter the immune environment of the cancer/glioma environment. Virotherapy is not only a potential treatment, but also a means to make other treatments work better in the brain,” he concluded.

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