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Positive Phase II Results for Virus Drug Reolysin in Squamous Cell Lung Cancer

Tumor shrinkage observed in 19 of 20 patients (Feb. 8)

Results pertaining to percent overall tumor shrinkage have been reported from a phase II trial of intravenous Reolysin (Oncolytics Biotech) in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel (REO 021) in patients with squamous cell lung carcinoma (SCLC).

The analysis examined percent best overall tumor changes between pretreatment and up to six treatment cycles. Of the 20 evaluable patients, 19 (95%) showed overall tumor shrinkage (mean shrinkage, 33.7%).

The ongoing study is enrolling patients with metastatic or recurrent SCLC. The primary endpoint of the study is the objective tumor response rate. Secondary endpoints include progression-free survival and overall survival. To date, nine responses were judged to be partial responses (PRs); nine responses were defined as stable disease (SD); and three responses were defined as progressive disease (PD), according to RECIST criteria, for a disease control rate (complete response + PR + SD) of 86%.

The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 228,190 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in 2013. Approximately 84% of all lung cancers are classified as non-SCLC; squamous cell carcinomas account for approximately 25% of all lung cancers. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. More people die from lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Reolysin is a variant of the reovirus (an acronym for “respiratory enteric orphan virus”), which is widely found in the environment and infects most people by adulthood. The reovirus is nonpathogenic, which means that infections are typically asymptomatic. In clinical trials, Reolysin has been shown to be well-tolerated, with patients exhibiting only mild, flu-like symptoms.

Source: Oncolytic Biotech; February 8, 2013.

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