An experimental vaccine developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute targets overactive antigens in highly aggressive brain tumors and improves length of survival in newly diagnosed patients, according to new data that was presented in a poster session at the 47th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and aggressive type of tumor originating in the brain, typically live only 12 to 15 months after diagnosis even with standard treatments: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
In this Phase I clinical trial that started in November 2006, 11 of 16 patients (69 percent) were still alive at 32 months (a median analysis time); six of 16 (38 percent) continued to be disease-free; three have gone almost four years and another three have survived more than 2.5 years with no recurrence. Median progression-free survival — the time from treatment to disease recurrence (median progression-free survival) was 16.9 months.
ICT-107 targets six antigens found on glioblastoma cells, three of which also are found on cancer stem cells. Those cells widely are believed to be the original source of tumor cells, enabling them to resist treatment and recur. The study revealed that all 16 patients had at least three of the targeted antigens and 75 percent had all six. Patients who had four of the antigens (MAGE-A1, AIM2, gp100 and HER2) had better immune responses and longer progression-free survival rate.