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Oncolytics drug improves survival of head-and-neck cancer patients

Nov 21 (Reuters) - Oncolytics Biotech Inc said its lead cancer drug improved survival rates in patients with head-and-neck cancer, compared to those receiving chemotherapy alone.

A late-stage trial showed that patients getting Reolysin in combination with chemotherapy drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel had a median survival rate of 94 days without their cancer worsening, the company said on Thursday..

Patients receiving only chemotherapy showed a median survival rate of 50 days.

The drug was safe and well-tolerated, the Calgary-based company said.

However, investigators reported a statistically significant increase in the number of patients on Reolysin experiencing mild fever, chills, nausea and diarrhea.

The drug is also being developed as a treatment for lung cancer.

Oncolytics shares closed at C$2.63 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday.