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PVSRIPO, or PVS-RIPO, is the name of a modified polio virus that has recently shown promise for treating cancer. It is the focus of clinical trials being conducted at Duke University.[1]

Virus classification e
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Riboviria
(unranked): incertae sedis
Order: Picornavirales
Family: Picornaviridae
Genus: Enterovirus
Species: Enterovirus C

PVS-RIPO consists of a genetically modified nonpathogenic version of the oral poliovirus Sabin type 1. The internal ribosome entry site (IRES) on the poliovirus was replaced with the IRES from human rhinovirus type 2 (HRV2), to avoid neurovirulence. Once administered, the virus enters and begins replicating within cells that express CD155/Necl5, which is an onco-fetal cell adhesion molecule that is common across solid tumors.[2]

A website at Duke University describes many of properties of PVSRIPO, and historical background about using viruses to oppose cancer.[3] According to that website,

The FDA approved clinical trials with PVS-RIPO in brain tumor patients recently. Since May 2012, five brain tumor patients have been treated. Remarkably, there have been no toxic side effects with PVS-RIPO whatsoever, even at the highest possible dose (10 billion infectious virus particles).

The potential value of PVSRIPO was the focus of a 2015 story on Newsmax,[4] and a 2015 story on 60 Minutes.[5]

In May 2016 the US FDA granted it Breakthrough therapy designation for Glioblastoma.[2]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Brown, Michael C.; Dobrikova, Elena Y.; Dobrikov, Mikhail I.; Walton, Ross W.; Gemberling, Sarah L.; Nair, Smita K.; ...; Gromeier, Matthias (1 November 2014). "Oncolytic polio virotherapy of cancer". Cancer. 120 (21): 3277–3286. doi:10.1002/cncr.28862. PMC 4205207. PMID 24939611.
  2. ^ a b "Oncolytic Poliovirus Receives Breakthrough Designation for Glioblastoma". May 2016.
  3. ^ "Targeting Cancer with Genetically Engineered Poliovirus (PVS-RIPO)". The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center.
  4. ^ Tate, Nick (30 March 2015). "Can the Polio Virus Cure Cancer?". Newsmax. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Using polio to kill cancer: A producers' notebook". 60 Minutes Overtime. CBS News. 29 March 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2015.