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Oncolytic virus extends survival in medulloblastoma model
Date:2/15/2012

  • Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children.
  • Disseminated medulloblastoma is particularly lethal and requires extensive radiation therapy to the brain, which can cause brain damage.
  • An oncolytic measles virus has shown effectiveness in a new model of disseminated human medulloblastoma.

COLUMBUS, Ohio A strain of measles virus engineered to kill cancer cells prolongs survival in a model of medulloblastoma that is disseminated in the fluid around the brain, according to a new study by researchers at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute and the Mayo Clinic. Treatment with the oncolytic virus called MV-GFP extended survival of animals with disseminated human medulloblastoma up to 122 percent, with treated animals surviving 82 days on average versus 37 days for controls. Two of the eight treated animals were left cancer-free.

The findings, published online in the journal Neuro-Oncology, could lead to a safer, more effective therapy for medulloblastoma, and particularly for disseminated medulloblastoma, the researchers say.

Medulloblastoma accounts for 15 to 20 percent of all childhood brain tumors, with 350 to 400 new cases diagnosed annually in the United States.

Untreated, medulloblastoma is fatal. Current therapy for the disease involves surgery, multidrug chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the entire brain. Five-year survival is about 60 percent, but the extensive radiation therapy often leads to decreased intelligence.

Furthermore, in about 20 percent of newly diagnosed patients and 75 percent of patients with recurrent disease, the tumor has disseminated into the cerebrospinal fluid. Five-year survival for these children is less than 20 percent.

"Patients whose tumor has spread into the fluid around the brain and spinal cord have an especially grim prognosis," says principal inves
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Contact: Darrell E. Ward
darrell.ward@osumc.edu
614-293-3737
Ohio State University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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