Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)
SNO is an amazing meeting. Aside from all of the presentations, I got to meet and talk with many brain tumor researchers and physicians and discuss what they think are the best treatments, what is needed to advance the field, what is slowing down progress and much more.
We also were able to interact with many other brain tumor nonprofits. There was some resistance in the past to working together but I think the last barriers were recently removed and you are going to see a lot more collaboration now. We are all about collaboration. Working together we will be able to accomplish much more than any of us could individually.
Posted on: 11/20/2018
The Society for Neuro-Oncology held their annual meeting last week in New Orleans. This was completely overwhelming. There were 100s of sessions and over 900 posters. Everyone I talked to had different favorites but these are the topics that stood out to me:
- Onc-201 for H3 K27M gliomas (which includes brainstem gliomas, DIPG, Midline GBMs, Spinal GBMS, Thalmic Tumors, usually on younger people). Early data in small group of patients at least doubled expected survival time with many patients still alive. This is a simple oral drug with minimal side effects.
- PVS-RIPO (Polio Virus Vaccine) – many presentations showing promise. One pre-clinical poster in particular showed that the target of the Vaccine is over expressed in most Medulloblastoma and ATRT tumors – which supports their new clinical trial using it on these tumor types in addition to the GBMs.
- DC-Vax-L: They still did not unblind the data from their phase 3 trial which ended 3 years ago, but presented more follow-up on the unblended data they reported on 6 months ago. Looks interesting but we can’t tell until they present the unblended data. They did say they will unblind the data soon.
- ABT-414: This is for recurrent GBM that overexpress EGFR. They showed some promising data – ABT-414 plus Temozolomide compared to Temozolomide and CCNU increased the overall survival at 2 years from 5.2% to 19.8%.
- SRS (Stereotactic radiosurgery) + Avastin for recurrent GBM did better than chemo plus Avastin, progression free survival of 5.3 months vs. 1.3 months. SRS is a form of radiation, and adding it at the time of recurrence is relative easy and adds a big benefit. It can be done after the “maximum lifetime“ dose of radiation. It is worth considering.
- SurVaxM (Survivin Vaccine). Survivin is a protein that is overexpressed on almost all GBMs. Early results look promising: Minimal side effects and for newly diagnosed GBM, survival at 1 year of over 94%.
There were 2 negative trials that were unexpected:
- VB-111 + Avastin for recurrent GBM did not do any better than Avastin alone.
- Ribociclib for recurrent GBM did not improve progression free survival and was found to not cross the blood brain barrier.
Disclosure: The Musella Foundation has funded some of the development of Onc-201, DC-Vax and PVS-RIPO.
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