New Drug Offers Hope for Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 12:17 PM


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Oncolytics Biotech said Thursday that its drug Reolysin slowed the progression of head and neck cancers in a late-stage clinical trial.
The company said patients who were treated with Reolysin and standard treatments had progression-free survival, or time to death or new disease progression, of 94 days. That compares with 50 days for patients who took only the standard drugs, carboplatin and paclitaxel. Oncolytics said patients on Reolysin maintained a benefit through five cycles of treatment.
The trial evaluated Reolysin as a secondary treatment for head and neck cancers. In December the company said patients who were treated with Reolysin in the study were more likely to have stable or smaller tumors than patients who took chemotherapy alone.
Reolysin is based on a common virus called the respiratory enteric orphan virus, or reovirus.

Oncolytics says most adults have been exposed to the virus and it usually has no symptoms.
In 2013 Oncolytics has reported positive results from two other mid-stage trials of Reolysin.

One evaluated the drug as a treatment for colorectal cancer and the other studied its use against melanoma. Oncolytics is based in Toronto and it does not have any approved drugs.
Shares of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. rose 8 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $2.60 in morning trading Thursday. They have fallen 35 percent so far this year.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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