Using the modified poliovirus to treat prostate cancer

Posted on March 30, 2015 by Sitemaster

For the benefit of those who saw (or heard about but did not see) the "60 Minutes" program last night dealing with the use of modified poliovirus in the treatment of patients with recurrent glioblastoma (a form of brain cancer), let us be very clear.

As far as we are aware, no prostate cancer patient anywhere in the world has been treated in this manner as yet.

An article by Brown et al. (in Cancer) provides an overview of oncolytic polio virotherapy (written by members of the Duke University research team and published last November); it is available on line, but only the abstract is freely available at this time.

This form of therapy might be difficult to use in the treatment of prostate cancer because it appears to require injection of the modified poliovirus directly into the known site of the cancer. Even localized prostate cancer is often multi-focal at the time of diagnosis and so being sure one had treated all the active sites of cancer in a man with prostate cancer (localized, progressive, or metastatic) could be challenging.

It may be some considerable time before we see this type of virotherapy being applied to the treatment of prostate cancer -- even in a clinical research setting.

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Filed under: Living with Prostate Cancer, Management, Treatment Tagged: | 60 Minutes, poliovirus, Treatment