‘It’s very encouraging’: Experimental gene therapy shows promise for glioblastoma patients in clinical trial

brain
Image: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

An inducible, tumor-localized gene therapy has been tested for the first time in glioblastoma patients. The two-part approach, which involves receiving an injection of an immune-activator gene into the brain tumor site and swallowing a pill that switches on the gene, resulted in the production of the activator—interleukin 12 (IL-12)—and an infiltration of immune cells into tumor tissue, according to a report in Science Translational Medicine [August 14]. The results also hint that patients’ survival may be prolonged by the treatment.

Patients in this group survived on average 12.7 months after surgery, with 26.7 percent and 13.3 percent surviving to 18 months and 24 months, respectively.

“We don’t get too excited about Phase 1 survival data,” says neurosurgeon Mitchel Berger of the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the trial. Although, he adds, “when you consider the fact that recurrent glioblastoma is a deadly disease that usually has one or two percent of patients alive at two [years] . . . to have a median overall survival of twelve months and somewhere a little bit over ten percent of patients alive at twenty-four months is pretty darn good. It’s very encouraging.”

Read full, original post: Immune-Activating Gene Therapy for Glioblastoma

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