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Oncolytic Viruses with Standard Chemotherapy can Help Mesothelioma Patients

Published: February 12, 2020

Mesothelioma is a cancer with a poor prognosis. People who are diagnosed do not normally have many options, but can at least have hope because of different clinical trials. Clinical trials can help find new treatments and medications to better help mesothelioma sufferers. A clinical trial in Oslo, Norway is looking at oncolytic viruses to target mesothelioma. When used alongside standard chemotherapy treatments, there is a larger chance of the tumors responding to treatment.

The trial is looking at oncolytic viruses being used in addition to standard chemotherapy treatments. Twenty patients were in the experimental group while 11 patients were in the control group. The experimental group received the oncolytic virus (ONCOS-102) in addition to chemotherapy while the control group only received chemotherapy. The experiment took four months for the control group and it took five months for the experimental group. The experimental group’s patients tolerated the combination of ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy very well.

The experimental group had a longer survival rate compared to the control group. The experimental group’s survival rate was 8.4 months while the control group’s rate was 6.8 months. This data is promising, but the data can change over time because patients are still living. The tests are showing that there is a good immune response once the treatment is administered. Ten of the 15 patients in the experimental group had more CD8+ T-cells, and nine of the 15 had increased PD-L1 expression, with seven being progression free. This shows that patients would benefit from this treatment even without using immune checkpoint inhibitors.

The researchers can now move on and continue working on the first line options for treatment using this drug. A checkpoint inhibitor will be paired with the treatment, which could help make the treatment more effective. There is not a cure for mesothelioma, but continuing these clinical trial tests will help improve the outcome for patients.

“Targovax Announces Encouraging Data in Mesothelioma Study Combining ONCOS-102 and Standard of Care Chemotherapy” BioSpace (January 21, 2010). [Link]
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