New glioblastoma cancer vaccine shows promise in phase 2 trial
The first results of a multicenter Phase 2 clinical trial on a new brain cancer vaccine tailored to a patient's own tumor will be announced on Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2011 Annual Meeting in Chicago.
The trial, conducted at three U.S. medical centers and led by doctors at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, found that the vaccine was safe and less toxic than conventional treatments and that it could extend survival for people with recurrent glioblastoma a deadly type of brain cancer that kills thousands of Americans every year.
The trial involved 33 patients with recurrent glioblastoma 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 NewYork - Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.
"The vaccine induces an immune response against multiple tumor-specific targets that allows patients to fight their own disease," said UCSF neurosurgeon Andrew Parsa, MD, PhD, who led the research. "The survival data thus far compare favorably with historical controls and clearly support advancement of this vaccine into later-stage randomized trials to directly compare the vaccine's effectiveness to conventional treatment."
Without treatment, half of the patients in the trial would have succumbed to the cancer within five to nine months, based on historical data. After receiving the vaccine, however, the median survival for 30 patients who received at least four vaccinations was 11 months. Several have survived for more than a year.
"These results are encouraging," said Andrew Sloan, MD, director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Peter D. Cristal Chair in Neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. The next step, Sloan agrees, would be a more extensive, randomized clinical trial.
A second objective of the current trial was to see if the vaccine could produce an immune response in all patients, and the results showed that it did so in every patient in the trial tested to date. This suggests that doctors may be able to extend survival even longer by combining the vaccine with other drugs that enhance this immune response.
"This study confirms our theory that a vaccine is capable of causing a favorable immune response in patients with brain tumors," said Jeffrey Bruce, MD, Edgar M. Housepian Professor of Neurological Surgery Research at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. "Our goal now is to conduct further clinical studies to demonstrate that this heat shock protein vaccine can clearly help brain tumor patients live longer."
A Deadly Form of Brain Cancer
Some 17,000 Americans are diagnosed with glioblastoma every year, Parsa said, and only 2 percent of them survive longer than five years even with treatment.
Glioblastoma treatment generally begins with a surgical resection, in which neurosurgeons remove the cancerous tissue from the brain. These surgeries are fairly common at large medical centers, and neurosurgeons at UCSF Medical Center perform approximately 850 a year.
The surgery usually is followed by radiation therapy and then chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells. Many people undergo treatment only to have the cancer return a few months later, at which point doctors may operate again, followed by more chemotherapy.
Cancer vaccines are a relatively new approach that has appeared in the last decade. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first therapeutic cancer vaccine for prostate cancer, and several more cancer vaccines are in clinical trial.
The basic concept is similar to a vaccine for a disease like measles or mumps: an injection in the arm induces an immune response that helps the body fight the particular pathogen or in this case, the cancer. An effective immune response would then shrink tumors and extend lives.
The problem with glioblastoma patients is that the immune responses induced by vaccines have historically been limited: either they did not kill all of the tumor cells or they worked on some patients but not on others.
A New Hope
Hoping to initiate new approaches to fighting recurrent glioblastoma, several brain cancer advocacy groups pooled their resources and approached doctors at leading cancer centers few years ago, requesting research proposals. Parsa and his colleagues proposed a new type of cancer vaccine based on tiny molecular bundles called heat shock proteins.
After completing a Phase 1 safety trial in 2008, Parsa and his colleagues began enrolling patients in the single-arm Phase 2 trial to test the efficacy of the vaccine by comparing overall survival to historical controls.
The Phase 2 trial also was partially paid for with matching funds provided by the National Institutes of Health, but Parsa credits the American Brain Tumor Association, Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure and the National Brain Tumor Society with spearheading the effort.
"It never would have happened without them," Parsa said. "Patient advocacy groups are an important component of how we inform patients about this disease. These groups are also increasingly critical to funding translational research, which bridges the gap between the laboratory and the clinic."
Once a tumor was surgically removed from a patient in the trial, it was sent to the biotech company Agenus, Inc., which prepared a vaccine specific for that patient. The company shipped the vaccine back to the doctors who would inject it into the patient's arm several times over the course of the year.
In the end, they demonstrated that the new vaccine is a feasible, safe and effective treatment for glioblastoma. Agenus, Inc. is now preparing for a larger, randomized clinical trial.
Parsa has not received any personal financial support or travel expense reimbursement for this work from Agenus or for consulting activities on behalf of Agenus. Neither Parsa nor UCSF has an equity interest in Agenus or other financial relationship with the company.
More information: The poster, "Autologous heat shock protein vaccine (HSPPC-96) for patients with recurrent glioblastoma (GBM): Results of a Phase 2 multicenter clinical trial with immunological assessments," by A. Parsa, C. Crane, S. Han, V. Kivett, A. Fedoroff, N. A. Butowski, S. M. Chang, J. L. Clarke, M. S. Berger, M. McDermott, M. Aghi, C. Yanes, M. Prados, A. E. Sloan, J. N. Bruce will be presented at 8:00 a.m. CT on Monday, June 6th in Hall A of the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, IL. ABSTRACT: abstract.asco.org/… 2_85010.html
Provided by University of California, San Francisco
- Clinical trial evaluating brain cancer vaccine is underway Oct 19, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Brain tumor vaccine has promising results Nov 22, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Brain tumor vaccine trial shows promising results Apr 16, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Common virus may help doctors treat deadly brain tumors Oct 22, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Common virus may serve as target for vaccine in fight against deadly brain tumors May 16, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Why is zone 1 in liver more prone to ischemic injury?
May 23, 2013 Hi, Is it because around central vein, there is only deoxygenated blood from the vein where as in the periphery there is hepatic artery. Also why...
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
May 22, 2013 As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
In recent years, microRNAs (miRNAs) and other non-coding RNAs are small molecules that help control the expression of specific proteins. In recent years they have emerged as disease biomarkers. miRNA profiles have been used ...
Cancer 19 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Cancer cells spread and grow by avoiding detection and destruction by the immune system. Stimulation of the immune system can help to eliminate cancer cells; however, there are many factors that cause the immune system to ...
Cancer 20 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Researchers from London's Kingston University have begun a two-year study which could help prolong the lives of people with colorectal tumours.
Cancer 23 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Transformative research from Western University has identified new hormones in the body which may suppress breast cancer and stimulate the regression of breast tumors.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Curtin University researchers have found evidence that targeting specific cells in the body can reverse the effects of cancer on the immune system.
Cancer May 24, 2013 | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
Coenzyme Q10 decreases all cause mortality by half, according to the results of a multicentre randomised double blind trial presented today at Heart Failure 2013 congress. It is the first drug to improve heart failure mortality ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 4
Heart failure accelerates the aging process and brings on early andropausal syndrome (AS), according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. AS, also referred to as male 'menopause', was four times ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 1
(AP)—Department of Justice lawyers have again asked a federal appeals court in New York to delay lifting age restrictions and prescription requirements on an emergency contraceptive popularly known as the morning-after ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Mortality and length of stay are highest in heart failure patients admitted in January, on Friday, and overnight, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2013. The analysis of nearly 1 million ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—A new study by researchers in the US has shown that an ancient virus can be modified to help in the fight against the simian immunodeficiency virus SIV, which is the equivalent in monkeys ...
23 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
20 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 2 |