Monday, October 15, 2012

New GBM Vaccine Clinical Trials

Here’s a snippet from a recent University of California Irvine Medical Center press release which says that “UC Irvine doctors are enrolling patients with the deadly brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in a clinical trial of a vaccine that may prevent the cancer’s return or spread after surgery.”

What caught my eye was the following quote from Dr. Daniela Bota, neuro-oncologist and co-director of UC Irvine’s Comprehensive Brain Tumor Program: “Our goal is to train the immune system to recognize and attack the cancer.” Dr. Bota will lead the Phase II trial at UC Irvine of DCVax, which was associated with increased survival in a previous study.

That’s important because, according to Dr. Bota, “The standard of care prolongs survival, but it does not fully destroy the cancer.” The article reports that Bota believes the vaccine can help eliminate remaining tumor cells and further extend patients’ lives. Only 10 percent of the 12,000 to 14,000 people annually found to have glioblastoma multiforme survive five years.

Five years? I think I know college students that are still sophomores after five years. So to my way of thinking, five years seems awfully short.

I read about GBM victims on the Inspire website all the time and it never seems like good news. You can read the same postings I do at: -

The study is sponsored by Tocagen Inc.  and, as of June, it seems like the study was still recruiting participants. If you’re interested, see

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