Biologic viral therapy like this may be just what we need to treat a complex disease like cancer," says co-author Frederick Lang, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery when the study was published. "Cancer can be devious in that it does everything possible to evade destruction. But viruses are equally tricky in their quest to invade cells and propagate."
Now, Delta-24-RGD is expected to start the first phase of human testing in late summer 2004, with a two-staged clinical trial of 15 patients each. One stage will offer the treatment by injection to patients with recurrent gliomas who cannot be treated with surgery. Progress will be monitored with serial diagnostic scans. In the second stage, patients with a glioma will have the therapy, followed by surgery two weeks later. The excised tumor will be examined to see if it has been damaged.
This trial is just part of an ongoing larger "platform" of research that is continually refining Delta-24-RGD therapy, says Charles Conrad, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Neuro-Oncology who works with Fueyo, Lang and others on the "Delta team."