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IMAGE: Dr. Allan Friedman of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke performs neurosurgery to implant a catheter that will deliver poliovirus therapy into a glioblastoma tumor. view more 

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Credit: Shawn Rocco/Duke Health

DURHAM, N.C. — A genetically modified poliovirus therapy developed at Duke Cancer Institute shows significantly improved long-term survival for patients with recurrent glioblastoma, with a three-year survival rate of 21 percent in a phase 1 clinical trial.

Comparatively, just 4 percent of patients at Duke with the same type of recurring brain tumors were alive at three years when undergoing the previously available standard treatment.

Phase 1 clinical trial results of the poliovirus therapy are being presented June 26 at the 22nd International Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy in Norway and simultaneously published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“Glioblastoma remains a lethal and devastating disease, despite advances in surgical and radiation therapies, as well as new chemotherapy and targeted agents,” said Darell D. Bigner, M.D., Ph.D., emeritus director of The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke and senior author of the study.

“There is a tremendous need for fundamentally different approaches,” Bigner said. “With the survival rates in this early phase of the poliovirus therapy,

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