Physicians at James Graham Brown Cancer Center to Test New Treatment Option for Recurrent Brain Cancer

For patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM), existing chemotherapies have offered limited survival benefit and new therapies are clearly needed. Eric Burton, M.D., is conducting a clinical trial with a new therapy at the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center that may provide improved results for these patients.

Burton, assistant professor in UofL’s Department of Neurology, director of neuro-oncology at JGBCC, and neuro-oncologist with UofL Physicians, is seeking participants for a clinical trial at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health, to test a new treatment for recurrent GBM that attempts to halt tumor growth by reducing the blood supply to the tumor. Participants will be accepted for the trial over the next year.

The therapy to be tested aims to halt tumor growth by limiting the tumor’s blood supply, a process called angiogenesis inhibition, which is a well-established tumor treatment method. It uses VB-111, a modified version of a common virus, that delivers a gene specifically to the endothelial cells that spawn blood vessels for the tumor. The expression of this gene in the blood vessel cell causes cell death, resulting in decreased blood flow to the tumor. The VB-111 virus can be given to patients systemically with tolerable side effects and, based on early trial studies, it may improve survival in patients with recurrent GBM.

Avastin is an FDA approved drug for the treatment of recurrent GBM. In this trial, participants who experience either a first or a second recurrence of GBM will be randomized to be treated with either Avastin alone or Avastin with VB-111. The goal of the study is to determine if the addition of VB-111 to Avastin improves survival over treatment with Avastin alone.

The trial is open to adults over 18 years of age initially diagnosed with GBM who have already received upfront standard treatment with radiation and Temodar at initial diagnosis. Patients can only be in their first or second recurrence and may not have received previous therapy with Avastin or any other angiogenesis inhibitor.

The Brown Cancer Center currently is the only site in this region participating in the international clinical trial. To learn more about the trial, patients may contact the Brown Cancer Center at 502-562-3429 or email ctoinfo.louisville.edu.