(RxWiki News) Early results for a brain cancer treatment show that using an individualized cancer vaccine is safer than many treatment options. And possibly more effective than surgery.
Researchers presenting at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons showed successful results from the second phase of their clinical trial, which uses vaccines as a treatment for the aggressive form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme.
Median survival rate for study patients was increased by close to three months.
"Ask your oncologist about individualized vaccines for cancer."
Forty patients were involved in the study, and given the risks, toxicity was low. The six month survival was 93 percent, significantly longer than the 86 patients with glioblastoma in the group not given a vaccine.
Both patient groups were given surgery to remove the majority of the tumor. Six month survival for the control group was 68 percent.
The vaccine for glioblastoma multiforme, HSPPC-96, is created using cells taken from the patient's tumor. The vaccine trains the body's immune system to attack a protein only present on the cancer cells known as glycoprotein-96.
This is the second phase of clinical trial testing for the HSPPC-96 vaccine.
So far from the results of the study, patients with the vaccine live longer than patients in other studies that focus on surgical treatment alone. This is the first portion of the phase II trial, with another on the way.
Former tests from the phase I of the clinical trial for patients with this form of recurrent brain cancer were successful in evaluating toxicity of the treatment at well below currently available therapies for aggressive brain cancer.
According to the lead investigator Dr. Andrew Parsa, “Cancer vaccines for brain tumor patients offer the hope of a highly specific therapy, with minimal toxicity. The multiple antigen, patient-specific approach of the HSPPC-96 vaccine is ideally suited for recurrent GBM patients who undergo surgical resection. "
Further testing is currently underway for a larger phase 2 trial that includes also using the new cancer drug bevacizumab for recurrent glioblastoma.
Results presented at academic conferences are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
No financial disclosures were made available to the public.