Brain Cancer Vaccine Shows Positive Results

Immunotherapeutic vaccine called Rindopepimut showed positive results in prolonging survival in patients with newly diagnosed EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma (GB), one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer. 65 patients in 31 locations were choosen for the study known as ACT III.

The overall historic survival rate for patients with GB selected to match those on the trial was 15.2 months. Rindopepimut targets the tumor-specific molecule, epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII). EGFRvIII is a mutated form of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) that is only expressed in cancer cells and not in normal tissue, and is a transforming oncogene that can directly contribute to cancer cell growth.

Expression of EGFRvIII is linked to poor long term survival, regardless of other factors, such as extent of resection and age. EGFRvIII has been expressed in 31% of GB tumors when assessed using the Celldex PCR assay.

The high level of immunity seen in vaccinated patients is again associated with loss of EGFRvIII at recurrence. Rindopepimut was generally well-tolerated with treatment duration up to more than 7 years; toxicities consisted chiefly of injection site reactions, while fatigue, rash, nausea and pruritus also occurred in >10% of patients. Activity and safety data are very consistent with previous smaller studies of Rindopepimut in GB. Read more…

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