Polio vaccine and GBM – Sun. May 15, 2016

Shannon texted me at 6 pm this evening that 60 Minutes was having a segment about GBM. Scott Pelley reported on research at Duke that was using a modified polio vaccine to attack recurrent glioblastomas (GBMs). In some cases the vaccine completely eradicated the tumor. Others survived a few months longer than expected.

Here is a link to Pelley’s March 2015 report:


The first patient, a 20 year old nursing student, is cancer free and she is now a nurse 3 years later. The 2nd patient is also alive. Others have not done as well. Nancy Justice did not survive since this 2015 link.

I think that use of the vaccine has been approved by the FDA. Did anyone else see the program?


4 thoughts on “Polio vaccine and GBM – Sun. May 15, 2016

  1. momhoodi May 16, 2016 at 20:58 Reply

    We saw the program. The FDA has approved that the program goes to the next step which is to allow 40 more institutions to be centers for clinical trials. Although there have some incredible successes, they have failures and some very bad side effects produced by the amount of polio vaccine given to the patients. They are mainly working on the appropriate dosages.
    They also starting to try the procedure on other types of cancers.
    The scientists are very encouraged by the overall results.

  2. bcwgolf May 16, 2016 at 22:13 Reply

    Thanks, Judy, for clarifying what the program said. I know the trial was just to determine the dose that patients could tolerate, and any effectiveness of the drug was just gratuitous.

  3. Liz Salmi (@TheLizArmy) May 17, 2016 at 18:22 Reply

    Hi Erin, and everyone!

    What the FDA did was give the vaccine “Breakthrough Therapy Designation,” which “is intended to expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions.”

    Check out the full explainer here:

  4. bcwgolf May 18, 2016 at 00:58 Reply

    Liz, thanks so much for introducing me to the NBTS blog. It wasn’t until the end of the article that I realized that NBTS stood for National Brain Tumor Society.

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