Sylvester is One of Four Sites for Clinical Trial to Treat Advanced Colorectal and Ovarian Cancers
Brian M. Slomovitz, M.D., director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is overseeing a Phase I/II study of a combination therapy to treat advanced colorectal and ovarian cancers. The trial will investigate the safety, and the biologic and anti-tumor activity of virotherapy ONCOS-102 combined with durvalumab, a checkpoint blockade antibody.
Sylvester is one of only four sites in the U.S. participating in the multicenter trial, which was launched on July 11 and could ultimately enroll as many 78 adult patients, and is the only site in Florida.
“We are very excited about this trial. By using a live viral therapy, we are stimulating the immune system to essentially work harder and, in a more specific way, to help the body get rid of cancer,” said Dr. Slomovitz, who is also co-leader of Sylvester’s Gynecologic Cancers Site Disease Group. “It’s counterintuitive to our traditional thinking that viruses are bad. Results from this trial may help us to continue to push the bar forward. We are very excited to have this novel trial available to our patients.”
The virus used in ONCOS-102 is engineered to selectively infect and kill cancer cells. The modified virus expresses a gene that stimulates immune response. Durvalumab, the other component of the combination treatment being studied, has already been FDA approved to treat other cancers. It works by targeting a protein that helps tumor cells hide from cancer-destroying immune cells.
Ludwig Cancer Research, the trial’s sponsor, explains that sites are currently enrolling patients whose colorectal or ovarian cancers have become resistant to all conventional treatment and whose tumors have spread into the peritoneum — the membrane around the abdominal cavity. ONCOS-102 is being delivered directly into the peritoneal membrane, while durvalumab will be given systemically.
The study is currently recruiting patients. For more information, call 305-243-7648.