Research ArticleCancer

Phase 1 trial of vocimagene amiretrorepvec and 5-fluorocytosine for recurrent high-grade glioma

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Science Translational Medicine  01 Jun 2016:
Vol. 8, Issue 341, pp. 341ra75
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad9784

Tag-team attack on glioma

Toca FC (extended-release 5-fluorocytosine) and Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec) are an investigational therapeutic combination for glioma, consisting of two parts: a prodrug that is inactive on its own and a modified virus that infects the tumor and delivers an enzyme, which then activates the drug and allows it to kill the glioma cells. Cloughesy et al. tested this therapy in 45 human patients with recurrent or progressive high-grade glioma and discovered that the treatment was well tolerated and improved survival compared to an external control group. In addition, the authors identified a gene signature that correlated with response to the treatment, which may help identify the patients most likely to benefit from this approach.


Toca 511 (vocimagene amiretrorepvec) is an investigational nonlytic, retroviral replicating vector (RRV) that delivers a yeast cytosine deaminase, which converts subsequently administered courses of the investigational prodrug Toca FC (extended-release 5-fluorocytosine) into the antimetabolite 5-fluorouracil. Forty-five subjects with recurrent or progressive high-grade glioma were treated. The end points of this phase 1, open-label, ascending dose, multicenter trial included safety, efficacy, and molecular profiling; survival was compared to a matching subgroup from an external control. Overall survival for recurrent high-grade glioma was 13.6 months (95% confidence interval, 10.8 to 20.0) and was statistically improved relative to an external control (hazard ratio, 0.45; P = 0.003). Tumor samples from subjects surviving more than 52 weeks after Toca 511 delivery disproportionately displayed a survival-related mRNA expression signature, identifying a potential molecular signature that may correlate with treatment-related survival rather than being prognostic. Toca 511 and Toca FC show excellent tolerability, with RRV persisting in the tumor and RRV control systemically. The favorable assessment of Toca 511 and Toca FC supports confirmation in a randomized phase 2/3 trial (NCT02414165).

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