Nebraska Cancer Specialists First in U.S. to Enroll Patients in Phase 1 Trial

Two patients at Nebraska Cancer Specialists ( are receiving a cutting-edge phase I cancer trial, and they are the first two patients in the United States to receive this treatment. Only three other sites in the country are recruiting patients for this trial. Nebraska Cancer Specialists was the first of the four U.S. sites to enroll not just one, but two, patients for this trial that just opened in August 2019.

The trial is targeted towards patients who have advanced stage cancer in an area of the body in which the cancerous tumor can be injected with the drug by means of ultrasound guidance. The treatment type is referred to as oncolytic virus therapy, and it is administered in collaboration with an interventional radiologist who performs the intra-tumoral injection.

An oncolytic virus is administered to attack and kill the affected diseased tumor cells. When the virus infects a tumor cell, the virus spreads until it bursts the cancer cell. The bursting cell releases materials that allow the cancer to then be recognized by the body’s immune system. To date, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved one other oncolytic virus therapy used for treating melanoma.

This new phase I trial at Nebraska Cancer Specialists is currently being offered at the Legacy location of the Midwest Cancer Center where the guided ultrasound is also offered. Patients or referring physicians can learn more at Nebraska Cancer’s robust Research Department by visiting For inquiries, call Director of Research Megan Meays, M.A., CCRC at (402) 691-6971.