N. Nora Bennani, MD, on VSV Therapy and Other Novel Therapies for Lymphoma, Myeloma


The assistant professor at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine discussed plans for further research and a phase 2/3 study.

“The idea is to find targets that will not eliminate all T-cells, and rather, maybe find a target that may eliminate part of the T-cells, but not all, so the patients are still having good immune function to some degree. So that's where I would like to see gene therapy, CAR T-cell therapy heading, is to find additional targets that we can use either for CAR T-cell therapy or oncolytic viral therapy.”

Engineered Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) therapy may present an alternate mode of novel therapy for treating patients with refractory hematological malignancies in which therapies such as chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell or gene editing therapies. A phase 1 clinical trial (NCT03017820) being conducted at Mayo Clinic is evaluating VSV-IFNβ-NIS, an engineered VSV therapy in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and T-cell lymphoma (TCL).

Study investigator N Nora Bennani, MD, assistant professor, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, presented the trial design at the 2023 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting & Exposition, held December 9-12, in San Diego, California. VSV-IFNβ-NIS is a bullet-shaped rhabdovirus which encodes both interferon beta (IFNβ) and sodium iodine symporter (NIS) with particular tumor cell tropism.

CGTLive® spoke with Bennani to learn more about the potential of VSV therapy and other novel therapies to help address unmet needs in these populations. She shared her group’s efforts to advance the therapy into a phase 2/3 trial if the early trial proves feasible.

Bennani NN, Cook J, Geyer SM, et al. Phase I trial of systemic administration of vesicular stomatitis virus genetically engineered to express NIS and human interferon, in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma, lymphomas, or histiocytic/dendritic cell neoplasms. Presented at: ASH 2023 Annual Meeting; December 9-12; San Diego, California. Abstract 5004
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