"He went through six operations and was placed on a clinical trial so he could try new treatments.”
A trial of pelareorep and GM-CSF for glioblastoma (ReoGlio)
This trial looked pelareorep (Reolysin), a treatment made from a virus called reovirus. It was for a type of brain tumour called glioblastoma.
The trial was supported by Cancer Research UK. It was open for people to join between 2017 and 2019. The team presented the results at a conference in 2020.
More about this trial
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a type of brain tumour. It is sometimes called glioblastoma multiforme. When this trial was done, doctors usually treated GBM with chemotherapy and radiotherapy at the same time. This is called chemoradiotherapy, or chemoradiation.
One of the chemotherapy drugs doctors use to treat GBM is temozolomide (Temodal).
Pelareorep (Reolysin) is a cancer treatment made from a type of virus called reovirus. Reovirus is common and causes only minor symptoms such as cough, colds and diarrhoea.
We already knew from research that pelareorep can kill cancer cells. But researchers wanted to find out if it could reach cancer cells in the brain. And what the side effects are.
Everyone taking part in this trial was due to have pelareorep and a
The main aims of this trial were to:
- find the safest dose of pelareorep to give with GM-CSF
- learn more about the side effects of pelareorep with GM-CSF
- see if pelareorep is likely to be a useful treatment for glioblastoma
Summary of results
The research team found that pelareorep didn’t cause too many serious side effects. It may be a useful treatment for glioblastoma.
This study was for people who had a high grade brain tumour called a glioblastoma (GBM). People who took part had already had surgery to remove their brain tumour. You couldn’t take part if you’d had any other treatment.
The first few people who took part had a lower dose of pelareorep. As they had no serious side effects, the next few people who took part had a higher dose. This is called a dose escalation study. Researchers give new treatments in this way to find the best dose to give.
A total of 17 people joined this trial:
- 8 in the group who had the lower dose of pelareorep
- 9 in the group who had the higher dose of pelareorep
The research team were able to look at the side effects for 15 people who took part:
- 7 people who had the lower dose
- 8 people who had the higher dose
Everyone taking part had at least 1 side effect. But some were due to the temozolomide or the radiotherapy. They weren’t all due to pelareorep. And some were mild or didn’t last long.
They found that pelareorep didn’t cause too many serious side effects. The most common of the more serious side effects were fever and flu like symptoms.
Only 1 person had a side effect that was serious enough to suggest the dose they had was a bit high. They were in the higher dose group and had a significant drop in blood pressure.
How well treatment worked
The team looked at how well the treatment worked for 12 people who took part:
- 6 who had the lower dose
- 6 who had the higher dose
They looked at how long it was before people’s cancer started
to grow. They found it was:
- 7.8 months for everyone taking part
- 6.1 months for those who had the lower dose of pelareorep
- 9.4 months for those who had the higher dose of pelareorep
They found that for 5 people who had the lower dose of pelareorep, the brain tumour:
- didn’t get smaller in anyone
- stayed the same in 3 people
- continued to grow in 2 people
And for 6 people who had the higher dose of pelareorep, the brain tumour:
- got a bit smaller in 3 people
- stayed the same in 1 person
- continued to grow in 2 people
When they looked at how long people lived for, they found it was:
- 13.1 months for everyone taking part
- 12.6 months for those who had the lower dose of pelareorep
- 16.1 months for those who had the higher dose of pelareorep
The research team concluded that pelareorep didn’t cause too many serious side effects. And that it might be a useful treatment for people with glioblastoma (GBM).
They suggest other trials are done to find out more about how well pelareorep works for GBM and for other cancers.
Where this information comes from
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.
Professor Susan Short
Cancer Research UK
The Brain Tumour Charity
Oncolytics Biotech Inc
Yorkshire Cancer Research
University of Leeds
This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUKD/16/007