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Directly injected viral vector, Toca 511, is designed to spread through brain cancer cells and kill them while leaving healthy cells unharmed
UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center researchers and surgeons are among the first in the nation to treat patients with recurrent brain cancer by directly injecting an investigational viral vector into their tumor. The treatment is being developed by a local San Diego Company, Tocagen Inc.
The Toca 511 virus replicates by budding and spreads through tumor tissue.
“This clinical trial targets glioblastoma – one of the deadliest forms of brain tumor,” said principal investigator Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD, director of neuro-oncology in the Moores Cancer Center and in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego. “Clinical trials of investigational therapies such as this may lead to new treatment options for patients battling this deadly disease.”
The current standard of care for a newly diagnosed, high-grade glioma includes surgically removing as much of the tumor as possible, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Despite these measures, the tumor usually recurs making this trial a high priority.
The surgical procedure involves directly
injecting the viral vector into the brain tumor.
Co-investigator Bob Carter, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Neurosurgery at UC San Diego Medical Center and Moores Cancer Center, noted that this novel agent is the culmination of years of multi-disciplinary efforts. “Tocagen’s investigational therapy, Toca 511 & Toca FC, is a representative example of the culmination of many technological advances that have come to pass during the last three decades,” said Carter. “It is a convergence of years of hard work by dedicated public and private practitioners in many different fields – including molecular biologists, basic scientists, virologists, physicists, mathematicians, surgeons, computer scientists, manufacturing experts, regulatory experts, and oncologists.”
“This trial is an exciting realization of the ability to help our patients that comes from outstanding science combined with innovative thinking and the desire to deliver compassionate care,” said William C. Mobley, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Neurosciences at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. “At UC San Diego, we are intent upon transforming the care of patients with disorders of the brain.”
Participants in this clinical trial must be 18 years or older; have a single, recurrent Grade three or four glioma and have had prior surgery and chemoradiation.
For more information please visit www.tocagen.com/clinicaltrials or www.clinicaltrials.gov and search for “Toca 511.”
Study coordinator: Ryan Kim, 858-822-7937, email@example.com
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Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Carter, MD, PhD
Clark Chen, MD, PhD
Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD
Official Web Site of the University of California, San Diego.