ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ:ZIOP) confirms initiation of Phase 1 Study of Ad-RTS-IL-12 Gene Therapy Print
By William Kent   
Tuesday, 05 May 2015 18:12

Biopharmaceutical firm, ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc.(NASDAQ:ZIOP), has confirmed initiation of Phase 1 study of Ad-RTS-hIL-12 + veledimex in patients having progressive glioblastoma or Grade III malignant glioma, a form of brain cancer.

This Ad-RTS-hIL-12 is a unique gene therapy candidate for control of IL-12, a vital protein for activating an anti-cancer T cell immune response.  

The study is made for examining gene therapy treatment strategy for high grade gliomas with aim of getting anti tumor T cell immune response.  

Eligible patients will be classified in two groups, one undergoing resection plus injection whereas the other would be undergoing stereotactic injection. 

The study may enroll up to 72 subjects at about 12 leading treatment centers. The centres may include Stanford School of Medicine, the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Dana Farber/Brigham and Women's, Cedars-Sinai/the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Maciej S. Lesniak, MD, MHCM, Professor of Surgery and Neurology, Director, Neurosurgical Oncology, Director, Neuro-Oncology Research, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, opined that progressive glioblastoma as well as malignant glioma are related with a particularly aggressive course. He added that the present standard of care treatment is limited by infiltrative nature of disease as well as lacking clear margins delimitating the tumor.

Nino Chiocca, MD, PhD, Harvey W. Cushing Professor of Neurosurgery, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Surgical Director, Center for Neuro-oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Chairman, Neurosurgery, Brigham And Women's Hospital and Co-Director, Institute for the Neurosciences, Brigham And Women's Hospital, opined that the evidence of IL-12 being able to trigger adaptive immunity as well as collapse of tumor stroma shows its importance as immunotherapeutic agent.  

She added that the preclinical data demonstrates that Ad-RTS-IL-12 gene therapy may be a little more unique treatment for GBM.

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