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The Preston Robert Tisch
Brain Tumor Center
Celebrates its 75th Anniversary
.....A History of Innovation, Commitment and Hope
Dr. Barnes Woodhall arrived at Duke in 1937, and became the
Chief of Neurosurgery and second Dean and Chancellor of the
Duke University School of Medicine.
For 75 years, the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center has been a destination for patients seeking the most advanced treatments, often with therapies not available anywhere else. Our patients are the reason we strive to deliver hope every day and in the years to come.
Targeting Cancer with Genetically Engineered Poliovirus (PVS-RIPO)
Matthias Gromeier, MD
A Brief Background About PVS-RIPO.
PVS-RIPO is a genetically engineered poliovirus that is being investigated as a new anti-cancer agent at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke. The idea of targeting cancer with viruses has been around for at least 100 years. However, valid strategies of using ‘oncolytic’ (cancer-fighting) viruses emerged only recently. This is mostly due to technological advances in genetic engineering of viruses.
To work against cancers in patients, oncolytic viruses must target cancer cells for infection and they must kill them. At the same time, they must be safe. Accomplishing this is very difficult scientifically and only very few viruses are suitable as cancer-fighting agents in the clinic. We achieved this feat by genetic engineering to remove poliovirus’ inherent disease-causing ability (a piece of genetic code of a cold-causing rhinovirus was spliced into the poliovirus genome). PVS-RIPO naturally infects almost all cancer cells, because the receptor for poliovirus (which is used for cell entry) is abnormally present on most tumor cells. PVS-RIPO kills cancer cells, but not normal cells, because its ability to grow (and kill) depends on biochemical abnormalities only present in cancer cells. Safety testing in non-human primates and human patients has shown no nerve cell killing, no ability to cause poliomyelitis, and no ability of PVS-RIPO to change back to wild type poliovirus that can cause poliomyelitis.
Immortality Gene Mutation Identifies Brain Tumors and Other Cancers.
Hai Yan, MD, PhD
Newly identified mutations in a gene that makes cells immortal appear to play a pivotal role in three of the most common types of brain tumors, as well as cancers of the liver, tongue and urinary tract, according to research led by Duke Cancer Institute.
The finding, published Monday, March 18, 2013, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a long-sought answer to how some malignant cells are able to proliferate, while normal cells peter out and die.
"Surgery, radiation and chemo didn't stop the tumor, but an experimental treatment did." Read this article in the Washington Post by a patient who participated in the Poliovirus Vaccine Trial.
Poliovirus Vaccine Trial Shows Promise for Recurrent Glioblastoma. Watch this video update of one of the first patients to participate in this trial.
Therapy Dog comes to the Brain Tumor Clinic once a week and wins the hearts of patients, families, visitors, and staff. Meet Aspen...
A look at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center's aspirations and history, with interviews of Dr. Darell Bigner and Dr. Henry Friedman. Read the full article by Taylor Arnold in the Raleigh Metro Magazine
The Brain Tumor Center now has a peer support matching program. Find out more...