FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHILDREN WITH HIGH-GRADE BRAIN TUMORS WILL SOON BE ABLE TO RECEIVE CUTTING-EDGE ONCOLYTIC VIRUS THERAPY
Re-engineered Polio Virus with Dramatic Response in Adults to be Made Available to Children in a Phase 1 Clinical Trial Jointly Funded by The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation and Solving Kids’ Cancer
September 28, 2016 – DURHAM, NC: Today, The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation (The B+ Foundation) and Solving Kids’ Cancer (SKC) presented a check for $208,500 to Dr. Matthias Gromeier and Dr. Eric Thompson at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, to co-fund an exciting new immunotherapy trial for children with deadly brain tumors. The FDA recently granted a “breakthrough therapy designation” to prioritize research into the re-engineered oncolytic poliovirus (PVS-RIPO), citing evidence that Dr. Gromeier’s ongoing Phase 1 study for adults appears to show increased survival rates among some early study participants with grade 4 malignant gliomas. These brain tumors are otherwise terminal upon diagnosis. This collaborative funding will help cover costs for clinical trials or promising oncolytic virus therapy among eligible children with high-grade brain tumors who face a similar devastating prognosis.
“PVS-RIPO may stimulate an immune response that can recognize tumor-associated antigens that can selectively kill tumor cells,” said Dr. Gromeier. “We have seen dramatic responses in some of the adult trial participants who have universally fatal recurrent glioblastoma. We look forward to expanding our study to test this approach in pediatrics.”
After years of following the progress of this promising therapy and working with the research team on behalf of children, Solving Kids’ Cancer is proud to join forces with The B+ Foundation to help move forward in trials for pediatric brain tumor patients. Enrollment in Phase 1 clinical trial is expected to open by the end of 2015 at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke.
“At Solving Kids’ Cancer, we pride ourselves on understanding the full breadth of the research landscape, working to identify breakthroughs in adult therapies that might also prove successful for children battling similar tumor types. Given the promising results we’re seeing in adults with the polio oncolytic virus, we have great hope that this approach will be effective in children as well,” said Scott Kennedy, Executive Director of SKC.
This new treatment has received a wealth of attention from the oncology research community and was featured on 60 Minutes twice (March 2015 and May 2016). The new pediatric trial will enroll 10-15 children with recurrent high-grade gliomas, and the PVS-RIPO as it is in the adult trial. CED is an emerging technology that delivers agents directly to the tumor in the brain using a small, surgically inserted catheter.
“We are proud to provide the essential financial support that will bring this exciting work to children with high-grade brain tumors,” said Joe McDonough, Founder, and President of The B+ Foundation. “These children have very few options when it comes to treatment, and this brings hope to a community that has been waiting for an opportunity like this for decades.”
ABOUT THE ANDREW MCDONOUGH B+ FOUNDATION
The Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation honors the life of Andrew McDonough. Andrew battled leukemia, septic shock, and complications of childhood cancer for 167 days before passing away on July 14, 2007, at the age of 14. Andrew’s B+ blood type became his family’s and friends’ motto throughout his fight against childhood cancer – to “Be Positive”.
The B+ Foundation is about Kids Helping Kids Fight Cancer – raising money through dance marathons, 5Ks, T-shirt sales and more, to provide financial and emotional support to edge childhood cancer research. Visit www.bepositive.org, @BePositiveFdn or www.facebook.com/bepositivefdn for more information.
ABOUT SOLVING KIDS’ CANCER
Solving Kids’ Cancer is not just our name, it’s our mission. We focus on aggressive childhood cancers with low survival rates – Because Every Kid Deserves to Grow Up. Solving Kids’ Cancer helps accelerate new, next-generation treatments, including immunotherapy, cancer vaccines, and new drugs by applying an understanding of the entire childhood cancer research landscape to wisely invest in innovative projects. Visit www.solvingkidscancer.org, @SolveKidsCancer, or www.facebook.com/solvingkidscancer for more information.