Stephanie Lipscomb


May 7, 2014

Modified poliovirus used as therapy for glioblastoma

The May 5, 2014 issue of People magazine features Stephanie Lipscomb, the first patient in the world to undergo an investigational therapy. At Duke’s Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, a modified poliovirus was injected into Stephanie’s brain to combat aggressive brain cancer. Two years after undergoing the procedure, Stephanie is doing great.

Stephanie was only 20 when she was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor called a glioblastoma multiforme. Given only a few months to live, Stephanie underwent surgery to remove the tumor, followed by chemotherapy and radiation. It returned within two years. She agreed to take part in the first phase of a research trial at Duke, during which a modified poliovirus was injected directly into the brain tumor. The investigational approach was pioneered by Matthias Gromeier, MD, an associate professor of neurosurgery and molecular genetics at Duke. He discovered that the poliovirus could kill cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.


People magazine features Duke brain cancer research

“She was very courageous,” Dr. Gromeier, is quoted as saying in the article, titled, “Killing Cancer with Polio,” by Michelle Boudin and Alicia Dennis.

Stephanie acknowledges the leap of faith she took in becoming the first person to receive the poliovirus in her brain as part of the investigational treatment. “I was a little crazy to do this. But I feel grateful to be alive and give others hope.”

The full article is published in the May 5, 2014 issue of People magazine, and is available by subscription or for purchase at the People magazine website. You can also watch this short video which also reports on her experience.

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