Marcus Neuroscience Institute joins Duke University, Massachusetts General
Hospital and the University of California, San Francisco in study to test
investigational drug utilizing polio virus for brain cancer
BOCA RATON, FL – June 27, 2018 – Researchers at Boca Raton Regional Hospital’s Marcus Neuroscience
Institute (MNI) are one of only four current sites nationally to be investigating
the effectiveness of using engineered polio virus in the treatment of
patients with an aggressive brain tumor – glioblastoma (GBM) multiforme
– that has been refractory to conventional chemotherapy and/or radiation.
According to Frank Vrionis, MD, Ph.D., Director of MNI and Principal Investigator
for the trial at the Institute, the FDA has designated the trial as “breakthrough
therapy” which is meant to expedite the development of medications
that have shown preliminary evidence indicating the drug may demonstrate
substantial improvement over currently available therapies in early clinical studies.
The modified polio virus (called PVSRIPO) doesn’t cause polio, but
infects different cell types present in brain tumors, including malignant
cells and immune cells that infiltrate the tumor. “When induced
at the tumor site, it directly kills tumor but not immune cells and elicits
inflammatory events that engage the immune system,” said Dr. Sajeel
Chowdhary, Director of Neuro-Oncology at MNI and Sub-Investigator for
Therapy for patients with brain tumors has always been impeded by what
is known as the blood-brain barrier, which blocks chemotherapy agents
from reaching tumor sites. The breech of that barrier through neurosurgical
technique has now changed everything. “Through the use of micro
catheters under MRI guidance and using a technique called convection enhanced
delivery, we can now bypass the blood-brain barrier and deliver the therapeutic
agent, such as PVSRIPO, to the tumor site” said Dr. Vrionis, the
MNI’s principal investigator on the study.
The procedure itself is minimally invasive and usually requires a one to
two day hospitalization.
Findings of the use of PVSRIPO in the treatment of patients with recurrent
GBMs have been very encouraging. On June 26, 2018,
The New England Journal of Medicine published clinical trial results conducted by The Preston Robert Tisch
Brain Tumor Center at Duke – Duke authors treated 61 patients with
recurrent malignant gliomas with recombinant poliovirus infusion and noticed
a 21 percent chance of three year survival versus 4 percent in historical controls.
“The use of immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer patients is
the new frontier in oncology,” noted Dr. Vrionis “We’re
most proud that MNI has joined such a prestigious group in advancing the
boundaries of that frontier.”
Cancer patients interested in participating in the clinical trials are
encouraged to contact:
Boca Raton Regional Hospital Clinical Research Center
Marcus Neuroscience Institute Research Office
Pilar Zuniga, Main Study Coordinator
- Phone: 561.955.3723
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Vrionis, MD, Principal Investigator
About Boca Raton Regional Hospital – Advancing the boundaries of medicine.
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