Oncolytics Biotech Inc. ("Oncolytics" or the "Company") (TSX:ONC,
NASDAQ: ONCY) today provided an update on its Phase III trial of
REOLYSIN in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel for the
treatment of head and neck cancers (REO 018).
The Company has conducted an internal analysis of the blinded combined clinical data for all 80 patients enrolled in the first stage of the study. The study remains blinded at this time. At the time of the analysis, 23 patients of the 80 had not yet progressed but were included for the purposes of analysis. The median evolving progression free survival (PFS) of the 80 patients, which comprises the combined control and test groups, was greater than expected, as was the best response rate. On further examination, it was observed that patients for whom only metastatic disease was being measured by clinicians, were responding differently to treatment than patients who had local regional head and neck disease. Patients in whom only metastatic disease was measured had a median evolving PFS of 120 days, which was statistically significantly greater than those patients with a noted local regional head and neck tumor. There was a statistically significant difference in PFS between these two groups (n=80, p=0.008, hazard ratio=0.536). Oncolytics therefore believes that, based on differential PFS, it has identified two distinct patient groups are being enrolled in this clinical study, patients with local recurrent disease, with or without metastases, and those with distal metastases. Each of these two groups contains patients from both the control and test arms of the study. Oncolytics believes that these two groups of patients must therefore be considered to be different for the purpose of both analysis and investigation.