Latest Experimental Cancer Treatment Drug Reolysin Causing Stir in Financial Markets

Treatment & Doctors
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 02/13/2013
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite’s Article


Povtak, T. (2022, December 19). Latest Experimental Cancer Treatment Drug Reolysin Causing Stir in Financial Markets. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from


Povtak, Tim. "Latest Experimental Cancer Treatment Drug Reolysin Causing Stir in Financial Markets.", 19 Dec 2022,


Povtak, Tim. "Latest Experimental Cancer Treatment Drug Reolysin Causing Stir in Financial Markets." Last modified December 19, 2022.

It’s easy to get excited about an experimental new cancer drug that delivers tumor shrinkage for 95 percent of the patients who tried it.

It may take many years for a pharmaceutical company to bring a new drug to market, but the financial markets respond quickly to clinical trials that produce those kind of results.

Oncolytics Biotech Inc., a small publicly traded company based in Calgary, Canada, has seen a dramatic surge in value and stock price since releasing results of recent clinical trials involving its lead product Reolysin, which has been especially effective in killing cancer cells.

It could be especially promising for patients with lung cancer and even pleural mesothelioma, the cancer involving the thin membrane surrounding the lungs. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos.

Reolysin is based upon a common, and otherwise harmless virus, but it shows powerful and uncommon results when altered and used intravenously in conjunction with chemotherapy.

“Reolysin works freakishly well in combination with typical first-line and second-line chemotherapeutic products,” Oncolytics CEO Brad Thompson told The Canadian Blueprint. “Most good science is found by accident.”

Thompson believes that Reolysin could revolutionize the way many cancers are treated. The latest phase II trial, whose results were released last week, involved squamous cell carcinoma of the lung and the chemotherapy regimen of carboplatin and paclitaxel.

Positive results involving Reolysin and colorectal cancer were presented in January at the ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco. In December 2012, the company released results from a phase III study of patients with head and neck cancers. And in October, it completed enrollment in another phase II trial involving pancreatic cancer.

It has shown effectiveness with a broad range of cancers, which could make it particularly valuable. Oncolytics has no drugs on the market yet, but its stock price has more than doubled in the last three months, an indication that big investors believe in the potential of Reolysin.

“Based on these (latest) findings, we intend to continue to look at Reolysin as a treatment for cancers of the lung and cancers that metastasize to the lung,” Thompson said. “It’s exciting to have 95 percent of patients in this study exhibit tumor shrinkage, and these results further suggest that Reolysin may have potential in pre-surgical settings.”

Reolysin is based around the Respiratory Enteric Orphan Virus (reovirus), which is relatively harmless and produces few symptoms. Most people are exposed to it as children. And while the body’s own immune system can stop the Reolysin from replicating in healthy cells, it can be designed to infect and destroy cancer cells with specific mutations.

The latest study included 20 patients, and 19 of them exhibited overall tumor shrinkage. An earlier study showed an overall progression-free survival of 7.4 months. One of the biggest benefits of Reolysin is the lack of side effects, especially compared to other cancer therapies.

The concept of using a virus to help kill cancer cells is not new. Viruses can be engineered to selectively infect and reproduce in tumor cells, effectively killing cancer cells. Viruses are playing a big role in novel gene therapy.

Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, are studying a genetically altered measles virus to test its effectiveness against pleural mesothelioma.

Oncolytics Biotech has been focusing on the development of viruses as potential treatment options for a broad range of cancers. Reolysin is its lead product.

open book icon vector illustration
Medically Reviewed by Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Free Mesothelioma Guide