Information for cancer patients about oncolytic virus therapy
June 1, 2012
In 2011, researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and other institutions published results of a small clinical trial on an oncolytic virus therapy for cancer. (For details, please see our media release or the paper published in Nature.) Due to the continuing and large amount of interest in this research from cancer patients, we are providing additional information.
Oncolytic virus therapy is still considered experimental and therefore is not available for general use. It is only available through clinical trials. While initial studies have shown that this virus is safe, and that it can target and spread within tumours, larger studies are needed to determine if it is effective as a cancer therapy.
If you are interested in clinical trials of oncolytic viruses or other experimental therapies, the best approach is to discuss this with your own cancer specialist (oncologist). You and your oncologist can find details about ongoing and upcoming clinical trials around the world at www.clinicaltrials.gov. This website is searchable by disease, location, treatment etc. If you are interested in oncolytic viruses specifically, try using search terms such as “oncolytic virus” and “cancer virus.”
On a special note, we recognize the profound sense of urgency that you and those close to you are experiencing, and we are working as urgently as we can to make promising new cancer therapies more widely available. Although clinical trials require a lot of time and often only accept a small number of patients, they are the only way to develop safe and effective new therapies. We cannot provide experimental therapies outside of approved clinical trials. We thank you for your interest in and continued support of our research.
The table below provides more information regarding the oncolytic virus trials that are currently open at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre.
Oncolytic Virus Clinical Trials at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre
*** Before contacting OHRI, please discuss details of eligibility with your oncologist. ***
Vaccinia virus trial for people with advanced colorectal cancer who have completed all standard therapies
Waiting listYes. Currently, there is a waiting list for participation in this trial.
Please read the ‘Important Notes’ below.
Eligibility and other detailsRecruitment for this trial is currently on hold. For more information on this trial, including participating centres and some of the eligibility requirements, please consult the details available at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01394939).
Eligibility does not guarantee access:
- Virus clinical trials have limited available spaces and may have waiting lists.
- Patients from the Ottawa region (specifically the Champlain LHIN – view map) will be given priority to clinical trial access. When a trial has no waiting list, an out-of-region patient may be permitted access.
- Any patient participating in an oncolytic virus clinical trial at The Ottawa Hospital Cancer Centre will be expected to make Ottawa their place of residence (at their own expense) for a period of up to several months during the trial. For safety reasons, no patients living beyond a certain distance from the hospital will be accepted on an oncolytic virus trial.
More about clinical trials
For more information about clinical trials and what is involved in participating in a clinical trial, please see our Frequently Asked Questions about Clinical Research.
If you think you are eligible
If you and your oncologist think you are eligible for one of these oncolytic virus clinical trials, there is no wait list and you are willing and able to re-locate to the Ottawa region if necessary, the next step is for your oncologist to send a consult (or referral).