Personalized Vaccine for Most Lethal Type of Brain Tumor Shows Promise
Chicago, IL – Patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) treated with an experimental vaccine made from the patient's own resected tumor tissue showed an improved survival compared with historical patients who received the standard of care alone, according to an analysis of a phase 2 trial of this vaccine that was recently published in the journal Neuro-Oncology and accompanied by an editorial highlighting the importance of the trial.
A GBM took the life of former Senator Edward Kennedy in 2009. The most aggressive form of primary brain tumor, GBM tumors are often resistant to standard therapies and median survival is approximately three to nine months for a recurrent tumor.
“We are talking about fast-growing tumors that invade normal brain tissue and are very difficult to treat,” said Orin Bloch, MD, a neurosurgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and lead author of the study. “These tumors occur in up to 23,000 Americans annually, and are typically treated with surgical resection of the tumor followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment.”
This phase 2 trial enrolled 41 adult patients with recurrent tumors between 2007 and 2011. Each patient received an average of six doses of the HSPPC-96 vaccine. Following treatment, 90 percent of patients were alive at six months and 30 percent were alive after one year. Further study will be needed to see if this vaccine could potentially be approved to treat recurrent brain tumors. Currently there are only a few approved therapeutic cancer vaccines, none of which are approved for the treatment of GBM. Continue>
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