Research ArticleCancer

Intravenous delivery of oncolytic reovirus to brain tumor patients immunologically primes for subsequent checkpoint blockade

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Science Translational Medicine  03 Jan 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 422, eaam7577
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aam7577

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  • RE: Systemically delivered oncolytic Newcastle Disease Virus is safe and effective against recurrent grade IV glioblastoma
    • Ralph W Moss, medical writer, Cancer Communications, Inc.
    • Other Contributors:
      • Tibor Bakacs, medical doctor, Alfred Renyi Institute of Mathematics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

    Samson et al, in your journal, provided evidence of an oncolytic reovirus gaining access to brain tumors after intravenous administration to patients (1). Reovirus RNA was widely detected in tumor cells of differing histological types. The authors, therefore, concluded that intravenous route holds promise as an efficient means of delivering oncolytic viruses to brain tumors, enabling regular scheduled treatments to be administered, while avoiding the need for neurosurgical methods of access. While this is a great step forward to develop oncolytic reovirus therapy, we would like to remind the readers that intravenous infusion of another oncolytic virus, the Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) has already been proven to be safe and effective therapy in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients. Therefore, it is perhaps useful to bring the recent past of the NDV oncolytic therapy into sharper focus with particular attention to GBM.

    The median survival for grade IV GBM after tumor-directed surgery and chemoradiotherapy is 14.6 months (1). In fact, according to the consensus of experts GBM is incurable. The often extended periods of relative indolence exhibited by low-grade gliomas (LGG; WHO grade II) differ sharply from the aggressive, rapidly fatal clinical course of primary glioblastoma (GBM; WHO grade IV) (2).

    An outlier case of a recurrent GBM patient was first discussed in a letter published by JAMA in 1999 (3). Despite conventional therapy including surgery, radiati...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.