Unusual treatment shows promise for kids with brain tumors - Fox News
Apr 12, 2021 1 min, 22 secs
Now doctors have made progress with an unusual treatment: Dripping millions of copies of a virus directly into kids’ brains to infect their tumors and spur an immune system attack.

Gregory Friedman, a childhood cancer specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"Our goal is to improve on this," possibly by trying it when patients are first diagnosed or by combining it with other therapies to boost the immune system, he said.

A suburban Philadelphia company called Treovir developed a treatment by genetically modifying the virus so it would infect only cancer cells.

Through tiny tubes inserted in the tumors, doctors gave the altered virus to 12 patients ages 7 to 18 whose cancer had worsened after usual treatments.

Tests also showed high levels of specialized immune system cells in their tumors, suggesting the treatment had recruited the help needed from the body to attack the disease.

This combination of MRI images provided by the University of Alabama in April 2021 shows scans of a child with a brain tumor, before and after a treatment that involves using viruses to spur an immune system response to the cancerous cells.

Jake died April 11, 2019, but "we have no regrets whatsoever" about trying the treatment, said Kestler, who with his wife has started a foundation, Trail Blazers for Kids, to further research

"It’s a devastating disease for these patients and their families," and the early results suggest the virus treatment is helping, but they need to be verified in a larger study, which doctors are planning, said Dr

Friedman said studies are continuing in adults as well, and plans are in the works for other types of childhood brain tumors

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