Oncolytics Biotech (NASDAQ:ONCY) presented promising phase 1 data for its cancer drug Reolysin at the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium this weekend.

Reolysin was tested in combination with a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs called FOLFIRI in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. The drugs produced a progression-free survival -- the amount of time it takes for the disease to progress or the patient to die -- of 7.4 months. Without a control group to compare it to and taking into account that there were only 21 patients in the study, it's difficult to interpret the PFS data.

There was one partial response and nine patients who had stable disease among the 18 patients who were evaluableĀ for response. Most impressive was that some of the patients that responded had previously progressed on irinotecan, the IRI in FOLFIRI.

Oncolytics, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute of Canada, has already started a phase 2 trial testing Reolysin in combination with Roche's AvastinĀ and a chemotherapy cocktail called FOLFOX compared a control group that will get just FOLFOX and Avastin.

Reolysin is being tested multiple other clinical trials in different tumor types. The most advanced study is in a phase 3 trial in head and neck cancers.

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