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Tags: brain | cancer | vaccine

Cancer Vaccine Proves Effective

Monday, 23 April 2012 12:01 PM EDT

A new brain cancer vaccine that uses cells from a patient’s own tumors, combined with the drug Avastin, has been found to be an effective therapy, extending their lives by several months or more.
The new study -- involving patients suffering from recurrent glioblastoma multiforme – opens the door to using the technique to treat the condition, which kills thousands of Americans every year.
Researchers, who announced their findings at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons meeting in Miami, found the vaccine effective in more than 40 patients treated at the cancer centers in San Francisco, Cleveland and New York.
The study found the vaccine can extend survival for the patients by several months, compared to 80 others treated at the same hospitals with standard therapy. Several patients who received the new cancer vaccine have survived for more than a year, researchers said.
"These results are provocative," said University of California-San Francisco neurosurgeon Dr. Andrew Parsa, who led the research. "They suggest that doctors may be able to extend survival even longer by combining the vaccine with other drugs that enhance this immune response."
Next researchers plan to test the effectiveness of the vaccine combined with the drug Avastin, standard therapy for this cancer, in more patients. Those clinical trials will be run by the National Cancer Institute, which will begin enrolling patients later this year.
About 17,000 Americans are diagnosed with glioblastoma every year; about 2 percent survive more than five years.

© HealthDay

New brain cancer vaccine that uses a patient’s own tumor cells extends lives.
Monday, 23 April 2012 12:01 PM
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