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Novel brain tumor vaccine acts like bloodhound to locate cancer cells
Date:1/5/2012

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Jan. 5, 2012 A national clinical trial testing the efficacy of a novel brain tumor vaccine has begun at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the only facility in the Southeast to participate.

The vaccine will be tested in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive and highest grade malignant glioma. Wake Forest Baptist will treat a minimum of 25 patients in this randomized, placebo-controlled phase II clinical trial of ICT-107. A total of 20 sites across the country are participating in the trial to test the safety and efficacy of this novel cancer vaccine.

All patients enrolled in the study will receive the current standard treatment for GBM, which includes surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Two thirds of the participants will then also get the experimental vaccine treatment, which will be administered in the post radiation phase of treatment, while the others will get a "dummy," or placebo vaccine in addition to standard therapy.

"This vaccine is for newly-diagnosed patients," said Glenn Lesser, M.D., a professor of internal medicine, hematology-oncology, at Wake Forest Baptist and principal investigator for the study. "Scientifically, it's a very well designed study and we are excited to participate in this clinical trial. We've been asked to participate based on our reputation as an outstanding brain tumor center and the expertise our center has with bringing novel therapies and novel therapeutics to patients."

The approach with this particular vaccine is unique, Lesser added, because it is targeting the antigens or proteins that are present on glioma stem cells, whereas other treatment approaches mostly target differentiated tumor cells.

"The antigens used in this vaccine target the tumor stem cells the handful of cells that keep the tumor alive and dividing. Most of the cells we kill with standard treatment are likely not the ones driving the
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Contact: Bonnie Davis
bdavis@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4977
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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