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Oncolytic Virus Explored in Advanced HCC

Jason Harris
Published: Friday, Oct 05, 2018

Dr Ghassan Abou-Alfa

Ghassan Abou-Alfa, MD
The findings from the ongoing phase III PHOCUS trial could demonstrate that sorafenib (Nexavar) plus immunotherapy with the oncolytic virus Pexa-Vec is another effective systemic therapy for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), explained Ghassan K. Abou-Alfa, MD.

, Abou-Alfa discussed the potential of the oncolytic virus Pexa-Vec and other developments in HCC.

OncLive: Could you provide an overview of the PHOCUS trial?

Abou-Alfa: It's a phase III trial that is looking at a vaccinia virus-based treatment that has a thymidine kinase, which is altered inside the vaccinia that we inject directly into the tumor. Original work has shown there are quite intriguing and evaluable responses in the tumors. However, it was understood that in combination with sorafenib, it will be better. Thus, the current trial is looking at Pexa-Vec followed by sorafenib and randomized against the standard of care, which is sorafenib. The trial is, thankfully, going all over the world and accruing very well. We very much look forward to seeing what the results will be.

How could positive results of this study affect clinical practice?

I don't like to answer speculative questions. It's hard to say what's going to happen with the study.
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