This past Sunday (3/29) the esteemed weekly news program “60 Minutes” on CBS aired an in-depth story (two segments – which is rare for “60 Minutes”) on a potential new treatment for glioblastoma multiforme.
The segment followed brain cancer patients in a Duke University clinical trial of a therapy that uses a re-engineered polio virus to kill cancer cells.
If you did not get a chance to watch the segment now, we highly encourage you to do so. You can view the entire episode (along with some extras!) here.
It was very encouraging to see the unique opportunities and challenges in treating a difficult cancer like GBM highlighted by such a prominent national news outlet. And the results from this early clinical trial certainly appear promising. However, it is important to note that the trial is still in Phase 1 and the treatment has only been given to a small number of patients. Stay tuned for a forthcoming post that explores more the state of this and other promising clinical research.
We should also note that the National Brain Tumor Society provided early funding to Dr. Matthias Gromeier who first began experimenting with this treatment approach (and who is featured prominently in the article).
Also heavily involved in developing this treatment are Drs. John Sampson and Darell Bigner (amongst others), both of whom have received funding from NBTS previously.
In fact, Dr. Bigner, Director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation Institute at Duke University and Leader of the Neuro-Oncology Program of the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, was the 2014 recipient of the National Brain Tumor Society’s Feldman Founders Award for his decades of outstanding contributions and invaluable impact on the field of brain tumor research. You can watch Dr. Bigner’s acceptance speech here. Dr. Bigner is also a member of the National Brain Tumor Society’s Strategic Scientific Advisory Council for our Defeat GBM Research Collaborative. And Dr. Sampson was kind enough to dedicate his earlier this year to help explain immunotherapy for our readers in a two-part Q&A.