February 18, 2018 |
New Results Show Personalized Brain Tumor Vaccine Helps Patients Live Longer
July 3, 2014  | 

Chicago, IL – Patients newly diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and treated with an experimental cancer vaccine made from the patient's own tumor in addition to standard of care lived longer compared to those who received standard of care alone, according to new results from a study involving Northwestern Medicine researchers. 

Glioblastomas are fast growing tumors that invade normal brain tissue. The disease is often resistant to treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation and median survival is approximately 15 months from the point of first diagnosis. 

“Improving the survival for GBM patients is an important goal for many of us here at Northwestern,” said the study’s principal investigator Andrew Parsa, MD, PhD who is chair of neurological surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Michael J. Marchese Professor and chair of the department of neurological surgery at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “This brain cancer does not discriminate. It affects all ages, genders and races and less than 5 percent of glioblastoma patients survive five years. With new research and studies like this, we hope to one day write a different ending to the story by turning this into a chronic disease – one that can be treated with medication.” 

Typically, patients newly diagnosed with a glioblastoma undergo surgery to remove their tumor followed by radiation and temozolomide, an oral chemotherapy drug. This phase 2 single-arm trial consisted of 46 patients and added a vaccine made from their tumor to their treatment. The vaccine is unique to each patient and is engineered to trigger an immune system response to kill tumor cells that may remain following surgery.  Continue>

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