RESEARCH Malignant Glioblastoma (GBM) is an unpleasant form of brain cancer that, with aggressive treatment, generally takes its full course of morbidity within one year. Favorable surgical techniques are available while research continues on a quite promising vaccine that targets a specific protein (EGFRviii or "EGFR factor three") present in about 40 percent of individuals with GBM.
Unlike a traditional preventative vaccine, CDX-110 uses the immune system – particularly white blood cell antibodies (T-Cells) – "to attack the tumor cells," providing "a very tumor-specific attack with very low toxicity" and fewer side effects according to Dr. John Sampson, a surgeon and researcher who helped develop the vaccine. Hence, this novel vaccine is used on patients with newly developed GBM.
One patient under phase-1 clinical trial at Duke University in North Carolina has survived six years. Others increased survival by two to three times normal. Phase-2 trials are underway on about 100 patients throughout the U.S.
CDX-110 is not the only brain cancer vaccine candidate. University of California, San Francisco is experimenting with a radical vaccine custom made from the patient's own tumor cells. In 2009, researchers presented data showing another vaccine could extend survival of prostate cancer patients.
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