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Brain cancer study: Magnitude of post-vaccine immune response linked to clinical outcomes
Date:7/14/2008

LOS ANGELES (STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL JULY 15, 2008 AT 12:01 A.M. EDT) Researchers conducting a clinical trial of a dendritic cell vaccine designed to fight malignant brain tumors called glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) have found a correlation between the "intensity" of a patient's immune response and clinical outcome, according to an article in the July 15 issue of the journal Cancer Research.

While other studies have suggested a link, this is believed to be the first to show direct and continual proportionality between the strength of anti-tumor responses and clinical benefits in cancer patients. This also may be the first documentation of a definite immune response/patient outcome correlation that can be credited to tumor-altering therapeutic interventions.

"Fifty-three percent of patients in our study exhibited a significant vaccine-enhanced immune response. Compared to non-responders or those with limited responses, the vaccine responders had significantly longer times to tumor progression and longer survival," said Keith L. Black, M.D., chairman of Cedars-Sinai's Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute. Black is one of the article's authors.

The study also substantiates a finding previously reported by the researchers: Dendritic cell vaccination and chemotherapy work synergistically to improve treatment. Time to tumor progression increased significantly when vaccination was followed by chemotherapy, compared to vaccination alone.

"No other vaccine trial in cancer patients has shown the kind of progressive correlation between immune responses and clinical outcomes that we found," said Christopher J. Wheeler, Ph.D., research scientist at the MDNSI and the article's first and corresponding author. "We looked at whether the correlation was present after vaccination alone or after post-vaccine chemotherapy. It was evident only after post-vaccine chemotherapy. This leads us
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
800-880-2397
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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