Share this article on:

Adapted ECHO-7 virus Rigvir immunotherapy (oncolytic virotherapy) prolongs survival in melanoma patients after surgical excision of the tumour in a retrospective study

Doniņa, Simona; Strēle, Ieva; Proboka, Guna; Auziņš, Jurgis; Alberts, Pēteris; Jonsson, Björn; Venskus, Dite; Muceniece, Aina

doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000180
ORIGINAL ARTICLES: Clinical research

An oncolytic, nonpathogenic ECHO-7 virus adapted for melanoma that has not been genetically modified (Rigvir) is approved and registered for virotherapy, an active and specific immunotherapy, in Latvia since 2004. The present retrospective study was carried out to determine the effectiveness of Rigvir in substage IB, IIA, IIB and IIC melanoma patients on time to progression and overall survival. White patients (N=79) who had undergone surgical excision of the primary melanoma tumour were included in this study. All patients were free from disease after surgery and classified into substages IB, IIA, IIB and IIC. Circulating levels of clinical chemistry parameters were recorded. Survival was analysed by Cox regression. Rigvir significantly (P<0.05) prolonged survival in substage IB–IIC melanoma patients following surgery compared with patients who were under observation (according to current guidelines). The hazard ratio for patients under observation versus treated with Rigvir was statistically significantly different: hazard ratio 6.27 for all, 4.39 for substage IIA–IIB–IIC and 6.57 for substage IIB–IIC patients. The follow-up period was not statistically different between both treatment groups. These results indicate that the patients treated with Rigvir had a 4.39–6.57-fold lower mortality than those under observation. In this study, there was no untoward side effect or discontinuation of Rigvir treatment. Safety assessment of adverse events graded according to NCI CTCAE did not show any value above grade 2 in Rigvir-treated patients. In conclusion, Rigvir significantly prolongs survival in early-stage melanoma patients without any side effect.

aOutpatient Department, Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital

bInstitute of Microbiology and Virology

cDepartment of Public Health and Epidemiology, Riga Stradiņš University

dLatvian Virotherapy Center, Riga, Latvia

eDepartment of Women’s and Children’s Health, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

✠ Deceased.

Correspondence to Pēteris Alberts, PhD, Latvian Virotherapy Center, Teātra iela 9, Riga LV-1050, Latvia Tel: +371 672 29599; fax: +371 672 29555; e-mail: peteris@virotherapy.eu

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

Received January 14, 2015

Accepted June 11, 2015

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.