Brain cancer vaccine testing begins

Oct. 23, 2007 at 10:28 AM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. medical scientists have started a clinical trial to evaluate a brain cancer vaccine that's used in addition to surgery and chemotherapy.

The New York University Medical Center study will focus on patients with glioblastoma multiforme, a deadly form of brain cancer.

The vaccine, called DCVax-Brain, incorporates proteins found in patients’ tumors and is designed to attack cancer cells containing those proteins.

"We are really excited about the promise of this vaccine," said Dr. Patrick Kelly, chairman of the center's Department of Neurosurgery. "Everything now depends on something in addition to surgery so that these tumors do not recur. A cancer vaccine like this may make a difference in extending life and maintaining a good quality of life."

Kelly and Dr. Michael Gruber will lead the research.

The trial will enroll patients 18 to 65 years old with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer who will receive standard primary treatment with surgery followed by radiation with concurrent chemotherapy. Enrolled patients will be randomized to receive the standard of care, and others will receive the standard of care and the vaccine.

The vaccine is manufactured by Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc. of Bothell, Wash.

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