Each year in the United States between 12 and 13 thousand people learn they have a glioblastoma...the most malignant type of brain tumor. Unlike most cancers, brain tumors are resistant to standard treatments. Almost every time a patient is treated, their brain tumor returns.
For years researchers have worked to develop a vaccine to help treat brain tumors and prevent them from recurring. Now, neurosurgeons at St. Vincent's Spine and Brain Institute are working with researchers at Duke University to help make that a reality. This is cutting edge research being conducted at Duke in partnership ith only a handful of hospitals around the country.
What is the basis for the brain cancer vaccine trial?
• Duke has vaccine trials for newly diagnosed and trials for recurring tumors. The trial we are involved in is for recurrent glioblastoma.
• In surgery for the recurrent tumor, we take a portion of the tumor and send it to the lab at Duke where they expose it to the patient's immune system cells harvested from their blood.
• Next the patients have the cells injected every month to train their immune system to recognize the cancer cells as foreign and kill them.
Why is this study so important?
• Glioblastomas are extremely aggressive and resistant to most standard treatment
• Treatment is limited for recurring tumors. There is a need to develop treatments other than radiation, chemo and surgery that will be more effective for treating glioblastomas.
• One nice aspect of this trial is that the experimental treatment, the vaccine, is given in conjunction with standard treatments - surgery, radiation, chemo - and the two work better together than either one works alone.
- What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
• Headaches (more persistent and severe than normal)
• Weakness in the extremities
• Funny sensation
- How far into the trial are you?
• This is a phase two trial
• If it works, then there will be a phase three study before its approved
• We're still 3-5 years off before this is done
- If people want to enroll, is the trial still open?
• There are always new trials being developed If you're concerned about a brain tumor and you want to get involved in the trial or be evaluated by a physician.... Call Dr. New's Office at 296-3103