In an attempt to beat brain tumour, one the deadliest of all cancers, a researcher and his team in US has tried to harness a remedy by producing vaccine from the tumour itself, reports New Scientist……..Click & see
Andrew Parsa, a neurosurgeon from the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center, has helped create made-to-measure vaccines using a person’s surgically removed tumour, and he’s started testing the concept in a small group of patients.
The vaccine, which utilises specific proteins from the tumour, is administered through a needle to the arm every two weeks, with the aim of stimulating T-cells from the immune system to attack any regrowth of the cancer.
“We’ve now got some compelling data from the first six patients and it looks like clearly all six patients had an immune response,” said Parsa, the study’s principal investigator. “In other words, when I test their blood after the vaccination, it’s apparent that they have T-cells that weren’t there before that are specific to their tumour.”
“And of those six patients, five of them have lived longer or are living longer than 6.5 months after recurrence of glioblastomas, which is the most malignant kind of brain tumour you can have,” Parsa said in Orlando, Florida, where he presented his findings at the Society of Neuro-Oncology annual scientific meeting.
Four of the patients have survived almost a year. One woman died about 10 months after starting vaccinations, while the sixth patient died before 6.5 months the average expected period of survival for this form of brain tumour, which arises in tissue that surrounds nerve cells.Brain tumours known as recurrent gliomas are notoriously difficult to treat and remain among the deadliest of all cancers. High-grade recurrent gliomas, or glioblastomas, can be made up of several different types of cancer cells and may infiltrate many parts of the brain.But Parsa stressed that these are extremely preliminary findings, based on a small number of patients in a phase 1 study designed to ascertain safety not effectiveness. “It just so happens we have some really dramatic immunomonitoring data and some interesting survival data at this point,” he said.
Commenting on the research, neuro-oncologist Warren Mason of Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital said various types of experimental immune-stimulating therapies have been tried in the past, all without success.
Sources: The Times Of India Publication