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Vaccine Extends Survival for Patients with Deadly Brain Cancers

Posted Oct 05 2010 5:37pm

A new vaccine added to standard therapy appears to offer a survival advantage for patients suffering from glioblastoma (GBM), the most deadly form of brain cancer, according to a study from researchers at Duke University Medical Center and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The vaccine also knocks out a troublesome growth factor that characterizes the most aggressive form of the disease.

“About a third of all glioblastomas are fueled by a very aggressive cancer gene, called EGFRvIII; these tumors are the ‘worst of the worst,’” said John Sampson, MD, PhD, the Robert H. and Gloria Wilkins Professor of Neurosurgery at Duke.

“Our study showed that the vaccine eliminated all of the cancer cells carrying this marker in all but one of our study participants,” said Darell D. Bigner, MD, PhD, director of the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center and the senior author of the study.

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