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Hum Gene Ther. 1998 Nov 20;9(17):2595-604.

A phase I/II study of herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase "suicide" gene therapy for recurrent glioblastoma. Study Group on Gene Therapy for Glioblastoma.

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Department of Immunology, Hôpital Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris, France.


Despite extensive surgery for glioblastoma, residual tumor cells always lead to relapse. Gene therapy based on retrovirus-mediated gene transfer of herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase (HSV-1 TK), which specifically sensitizes dividing cells to ganciclovir (GCV) toxicity, may help eradicate such cells. During glioblastoma surgery, HSV-1 TK retroviral vector-producing cells (M11) were injected into the surgical cavity margins after tumor debulking. After a 7-day transduction period, GCV was administered for 14 days. Safety was assessed by clinical and laboratory evaluations, and efficacy was assessed by MRI-based relapse-free survival at month 4 and by overall survival. Twelve patients with recurrent glioblastoma were treated without serious adverse events related to M11 cell administration or GCV. Quality of life was not negatively influenced by this treatment. Overall median survival was 206 days, with 25% of the patients surviving longer than 12 months. At 4 months after treatment, 4 of 12 patients had no recurrence; their median overall survival was 528 days, compared with 194 days for patients with recurrence (p=0.03 by the log rank test). One patient is still free of detectable recurrence, steroid free and independent, 2.8 years after treatment. Thus, brain injections of M11 retroviral vector-producing cells for glioblastoma HSV-1 TK gene therapy were well tolerated and associated with significant therapeutic responses. These results warrant further development of this therapeutic strategy in brain tumor, including recurrent glioblastoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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