American Brain Tumor Association-Funded Canine Clinical Trial Translated to Human Glioma Trials

July 2, 2013

Study investigated treatment for canine brain tumors while aiding development of potential new therapy for humans.

Chicago, IL (PRWEB) July 02, 2013

The American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) today announced highlights from the final report on a grant supporting clinical research of naturally-occurring canine brain tumors to discover more effective methods of treatment for human brain tumors.

The $200,000 grant was awarded by the ABTA in 2011 to San Diego-based Tocagen, Inc. for the evaluation of its investigational treatment Toca 511 & Toca FC in companion dogs with malignant glioma, the most aggressive form of brain tumor. Study results are already being applied in two human clinical trials that are enrolling patients with recurrent high grade glioma at eight clinical sites across the United States.

“The ability to rapidly translate these research findings and integrate them into two human clinical trials was a significant outcome for this grant since brain tumor patients — especially those diagnosed with aggressive tumors — have little time to wait for research results to move to the clinical setting,” said ABTA Chief Mission Officer Deneen Hesser, MSHSA, RN, OCN.

In the human clinical trials, researchers are injecting the investigational drug Toca 511— the first component of the two-part anti-tumor regimen — into the tumor. Toca 511 is a virus designed to spread selectively in cancer cells, carrying a gene to activate the second part of the therapy, an investigational formulation of 5-FC called Toca FC. Within Toca 511-infected cancer cells, the gene produces an enzyme which converts 5-FC into the anti-cancer drug 5-FU.

Toca 511 is administered to the brain tumor either by using a real-time MRI-guided procedure or by giving multiple injections into the walls of the resection cavity immediately following surgical removal. Since most recurrent gliomas manifest themselves within a two centimeter margin of the resection cavity, it is commonly believed that this region contains residual cancer cells. Introduction of Toca 511 into this surrounding area is intended to infect the residual cancer cells with the virus, rendering them vulnerable to the Toca FC.

Brain tumor research is traditionally conducted using mouse and rat models where the tumors, unlike in humans, are neither large nor naturally-occurring. For this reason, scientists may find the outcomes differ when the therapy advances from rodent models to human testing. According to the National Cancer Institute, however, naturally-occurring canine cancers share many features of human cancers. Thus conducting companion dog studies may help bridge the gap between data generated in mouse models and introduction into human trials.

The ABTA grant provided funds to support research evaluating Toca 511 & Toca FC in canine glioma patients—companion dogs with brain tumors whose owners are seeking treatment for their pets. By doing so, researchers hoped to answer important questions about the safety and tolerability of this new, investigational therapy while outlining ways to improve the methods of delivery of Toca 511 into human brain tumors.

Among the outcomes noted in the Tocagen Brain Cancer Therapies Canine Patient Final Report:

  • The investigational treatment was well-tolerated in the eight companion dogs treated as part of the study.
  •     Imaging agents, such as gadolinium, can be combined with Toca 511, co-injected into the tumor, and then visualized using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to provide information on the accuracy of the injection into the tumor.
  •     Increasing the volume of Toca 511 injected into the tumor using standard and convection enhanced delivery methods was successfully achieved and well-tolerated.
  •     Use of multiple cannulas to administer Toca 511 to different areas of the tumor was accomplished.
  •     The volume and/or concentration of Toca 511 delivered to the tumor appeared to correlate with the spread of Toca 511 in the tumor

Tocagen is continuing to enroll companion dogs with glioma. Please click here to submit an inquiry form.


Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first and is now the only national organization committed to funding brain tumor research and providing information, support and educational resources for all age groups and tumor types. For more information, visit http://www.abta.org or call 800-886-ABTA (2282).

# # #

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/7/prweb10890466.htm

Source: prweb

comments powered by Disqus