Trial shows poliovirus may be effective in treating deadly brain cancer glioblastoma
Debra Puffer’s story
Source: CBS News
Debbie Puffer, 61, has been a patient at Duke University since 2014 when doctors began treating her deadly brain cancer, glioblastoma, with a most unlikely weapon: poliovirus. At first, she was skeptical.
“I was just going to go home and bury my head in the sand and then I realized, no, no, I’m not supposed to do that,” Puffer said.
For the last four years, “60 Minutes” has charted the journey of doctors and patients-turned-medical pioneers. The poliovirus can attach to a protein on the surface of cancer cells. The virus, genetically modified so it can’t cause polio, is injected directly into the brain tumor, where it begins its attack, then jump starts the immune system to help finish the job.
“The most important part, we believe that actually is the secondary immune response,” said Dr. Darell Bigner, with Duke’s Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor center.