Myeloma UK has launched clinical trial MUK eleven. It is a first of its kind immunotherapy trial in myeloma which uses a naturally occurring virus to destroy myeloma cells.
MUK eleven is a Phase 1b trial which aims to recruit 44 patients to study the effects of Reolysin®, in combination with immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) pomalidomide (Imnovid®) or lenalidomide (Revlimid®) as a treatment for relapsing myeloma patients.
Reolysin is an oncolytic virus, which specifically infects myeloma cells, eventually causing them to die. At the same time, the virus causes the immune system to mount an immune response, which in turn can augment the actions of other immunotherapies.
MUK eleven Chief Investigator Gordon Cook, University of Leeds said, “This trial is a novel way of activating a patient’s own immune system to target their myeloma (immunotherapy) using a natural virus and lenalidomide or pomalidomide, which could offer a new treatment strategy in myeloma.”
As well as myeloma cells, Reolysin has been shown to be effective in targeting a range of other cancer cells. Researchers at the University of Leeds were the first to show that the oncolytic virus caused increased immune activation when combined with treatments like pomalidomide and lenalidomide.
In MUK eleven, myeloma patients who are already on pomalidomide or lenalidomide but who are showing signs of relapse will be given additional Reolysin treatment. The aim is to determine whether the combination of pomalidomide or lenalidomide and Reolysin can control the myeloma and halt relapse. Different groups of patients will be given different doses of these combinations and monitored closely for any side-effects.
The trial will be open in up to six centres from the Myeloma UK Clinical Trial Network, established to help test and speed up patient access to promising new treatments.
Myeloma UK Director of Research Dr Simon Ridley said, “We focus on strategic, collaborative and innovative approaches to delivering trials and treatments to myeloma patients. Our Clinical Trial Network aims to ensure that patients now and in the future are getting access to the exciting new treatment combinations we are seeing coming down the line, and so we are pleased to launch this novel trial which focuses on a pivotal area of myeloma research.”
Find out more about immunotherapy treatments by downloading our dedicated Infosheet, or to learn more about myeloma and its treatments call the Myeloma Infoline free from the UK on 0800 980 3332 or email AskTheNurse@myeloma.org.uk.