Lengthening the life of a patient with brain tumors is wonderful news. Phase 2 of the clinical trials paves the way for testing a new therapy that combines a brain cancer vaccine with the oncology drug, Avastin
A new report of this news was reported today by the University of California, San Francisco.
This vaccine is individualized by using tissue from the patient's tumor. This procedure has proven effective in a multicenter phase 2 clinical trial at extending their lives by
several months or longer. The patients suffered from recurrent
glioblastoma multiforme—which kills thousands of Americans every year.
results, to be announced Tuesday, April 17 at the American Association
of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) meeting in Miami, compared the
effectiveness of the vaccine for more than 40 patients treated at UCSF’s
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, at the Seidman Cancer
Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland and at
New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New
The trial found the vaccine could extend survival for
the patients by several months when compared to 80 other patients who
were treated at the same hospitals and received standard therapy—47
weeks compared to 32 weeks. Several of the patients who received the
cancer vaccine have survived for more than a year.
are provocative,” said UCSF neurosurgeon Andrew Parsa, MD, PhD, who led
the research. “They suggest that doctors may be able to extend survival
even longer by combining the vaccine with other drugs that enhance this
The next step, he said, will be a more extensive, randomized clinical
trial to look at the effectiveness of the vaccine combined with the drug
Avastin, a standard therapy for this type of cancer, compared to the
effectiveness of Avastin alone. Those trials, to be run by the National
Cancer Institute, will begin enrolling patients later this year.
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