Brain cancer vaccine clinical trial begins

Feb. 7, 2008 at 7:58 PM
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NEW YORK , Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Two U.S. doctors are seeking candidates for their phase II clinical trial of a personalized brain cancer vaccine.

Dr. Patrick Kelly and Dr. Michael Gruber of New York University Medical Center says it is anticipated that the vaccine can increase survival rates by 50 percent.

When the initial study of this vaccine was conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, two-thirds of the patients were still alive after two years, compared to one-third who only received standard treatment. In two-fifths of the vaccine-treated patients, who survived two years there has been no evidence of the disease, the study said.

The vaccine is made by taking a portion of a patient's brain tumor and combining it with dendritic white blood cells. Once the vaccine is injected beneath the skin of the patient it should create an immune reaction resulting in killing the cancer cells.

Patients who are candidates for this phase II trial must be newly-diagnosed, and have not had any other treatment, including chemotherapy and/or radiation. They will first undergo a minimally-invasive procedure to remove the tumor, Kelly said.

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