Journal of Neuro-Oncology

, Volume 64, Issue 1–2, pp 147–154 | Cite as

Immunogene therapy of recurrent glioblastoma multiforme with a liposomally encapsulated replication-incompetent Semliki forest virus vector carrying the human interleukin-12 gene — a phase I/II clinical protocol

  • H. Ren
  • T. Boulikas
  • A. Söling
  • P. C. Warnke
  • N. G. Rainov
Enhancing The Response: Immunogene Therapy And Dendritic Cell (DC) Vaccines


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an incurable brain tumor resistant to standard treatment modalities such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Since recurrent GBM tends to develop predominantly within the infiltrative rim surrounding the primary tumor focus, novel therapy strategies need in addition to focal tumor destruction to target this somewhat diffuse area.

This is a phase I/II clinical study in adult patients with recurrent GBM which is aimed at evaluating biological safety, maximum tolerated dose, and antitumor efficacy of a genetically modified replication-disabled Semliki forest virus vector (SFV) carrying the human interleukin 12 (IL-12) gene and encapsulated in cationic liposomes (LSFV-IL12). The vector will be administered in doses of 1 × 107 − 1 × 109 infectious particles by continuous intratumoral infusion, thus exploiting the advantages of convection-enhanced drug delivery in the brain. The present protocol is also designed to investigate systemic and local immune response and to identify factors predicting tumor response to LSFV-IL12 therapy, such as volume of extracellular space of the tumor, volume of contrast enhancing lesion, and immune status of the patients.

SFV, an insect alphavirus, infects mitotic and non-mitotic cells and triggers apoptosis in tumor cells within 48–72 h. Preclinical work with the LSFV-IL12 vector in breast and prostate cancer animal models demonstrated its biosafety and some antitumor efficacy. An ongoing phase I clinical study in patients with melanoma and renal cell carcinoma seems also to confirm the biosafety of intravenously administered vectors.

This protocol will be the first study of SFV-IL12 therapy of human recurrent GBM.

Key words

glioblastoma interleukin 12 intra-tumoral infusion Semliki forest virus 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Ren
    • 1
  • T. Boulikas
    • 2
  • A. Söling
    • 3
  • P. C. Warnke
    • 1
  • N. G. Rainov
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurological Science, Clinical Sciences Center for Research and EducationThe University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.Regulon Inc.Palo AltoUSA
  3. 3.Molecular Neurooncology Laboratory, Department of NeurosurgeryMartin-Luther University HalleHalleGermany

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