Drug News

December 2010 
Volume 40  Number 12
Pages 16 - 16
  PDF Version Available!

Targeting a gene mutation that fuels cancer growth, a new vaccine for patients with glioblastoma, a malignant brain tumor, has shown promise in killing cancer cells and prolonging life.A recent trial was conducted to estimate the progression-free survival of 35 patients with glioblastoma who'd undergone radiation and were treated with temozolomide. Eighteen patients received an intradermal epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII)-targeted vaccine, a therapeutic vaccine that targets and stimulates the body's immune system for the treatment of cancer; 17 were in a control group. The vaccines were given until toxicity or tumor progression was observed.Those who received the vaccine lived an average of 26 months, compared with 15 months for those in the control group. Some of the patients in the study are still alive after 5 years, which is unusual for a cancer associated with a 1-year survival rate.The study authors conclude that EGFRvIII-targeted vaccination in patients with

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