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

to believe that while T-cell activity may not result in net destruction of the tumor it is fundamentally changing the tumor into one that is predominantly comprised of chemosensitive cells rather than chemoresistant cells."

The findings also appear to give scientists a way to more quickly evaluate future vaccine-related research.

"The demonstration that the magnitude of immune response is directly related to survival of patients gives us a very good tool or 'surrogate marker' for clinical benefit. If we can improve the immune response of our vaccine, we can anticipate that the clinical benefit will be improved as well. This allows us to fine-tune our vaccine in more of a real-time way," said John S. Yu, M.D., director of Surgical Neuro-oncology at Cedars-Sinai, principal investigator of the clinical trial and senior author of the article.

This study centered on the immune responses of 32 patients enrolled in a Phase II clinical trial. Seventeen patients had a significant positive response after three vaccinations; 15 showed no such responsiveness. Average time to tumor progression (based on when tumor volume increased by about 25 percent on MRI scans) was about 308 days among responders, compared to 167 days for non-responders. Average length of survival (based on date of death or date of last contact with surviving patients) was about 642 days (about 21 months) among responders, compared to 430 days (about 14 months) for non-responders.

Forty-one percent of vaccine responders, compared to seven percent of non-responders, survived at least two years. All patients in the trial had longer time to progression and longer time of survival, on average, than patients undergoing standard treatment without vaccination, although their pre-vaccine disease courses were similar.

The vaccine was first used experimentally in patient treatment in May 1998, and numerous studies have been conducted to fine-tune the therapy and combine it
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
800-880-2397
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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