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TVEC is a modified oncolytic herpes simplex 1 (HSV1) virus currently FDA approved for the treatment of unresectable cutaneous and nodal melanoma. TVEC is designed to preferentially lyse tumor cells over normal tissue to release tumor associated antigens, produces GM-CSF to activate dendritic cells, and stimulates T cells to infiltrate the tumor (TILs). TILs in breast cancer are associated with better response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). 

Dr. Hatem Soliman, medical oncologist in the Breast Oncology program, presented the results of the Phase 2 trial "The use of TVEC in the treatment of women with early stage triple negative breast cancer," at the 2021 annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting. The trial hypothesized that intratumoral TVEC may enhance response to NAC. 

This first of its kind study was initiated several years ago to investigate the use of an oncolytic virus in combination with preoperative chemotherapy. The study launched and enrolled 50 patients to help establish a new workflow to determine how to best administer the oncolytic virus. Results indicated an increased likelihood of complete response to preoperative therapy and complete eradication of the tumor. 

"Furthermore we did see that there was evidence of immune activation in the tumors as a result of adding the oncolytic virus which was very encouraging and we think also may contribute to improving outcomes in these women," said Dr. Soliman. 

View the abstract for more information about this study. 

Learn more about Moffitt's Breast Oncology Program