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

tumor growth. If the stem cells aren't targeted, they keep generating more tumors."

According to the biotechnology company that is conducting the trial, the Phase I clinical study of ICT-107 in GBM involved 16 newly-diagnosed patients who received the vaccine in addition to standard therapy surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Those patients demonstrated a one-year overall survival of 100 percent and a two-year survival of 80 percent. Although only a small number of patients were treated, these results compare favorably with historical 61percent one-year and 26 percent two-year survival with standard care alone.

Vaccines for brain tumors are new and experimental, said Lesser, but are gaining more attention in the glioma world.

"Vaccines are a way to harness the body's own defenses which are usually used to ward off or control infections like the flu to fight cancer cells instead," Lesser explained. "It is a way of presenting antigens or proteins normally found on the surface of the cancer cells to the immune system so that immune cells can seek out and kill those cancer cells anywhere in the body. This is not unlike giving a piece of clothing to a bloodhound and then letting it loose to find a missing person."

Wake Forest Baptist is also involved in another brain tumor vaccine trial for patients with low-grade or slower growing gliomas. Among the targets of both of these vaccines is a new protein found on the surface of glioma cells discovered by Waldemar Debinski, M.D., Ph.D, director of the Wake Forest Baptist Brain Tumor Center of Excellence.

"Early studies of vaccines for patients with brain tumors are showing promising results," Lesser said. "We want to help definitively determine how good these novel therapies really are for patients."


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Contact: Bonnie Davis
bdavis@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4977
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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