Brain tumor vaccine shows promise

A new vaccine that fights the deadliest form of brain cancer, glioblastoma, has shown promise in early trials, NBC News reported June 12.

The vaccine, called SurVaxM, targets a protein called survivin found in tumors that is believed to play a role in the survival of cancer cells. Typically, treatment for glioblastoma involves surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. However, the tumor often returns if not every cancer cell is eliminated. The vaccine teaches the body to attack cancer cells and prevent new tumors from growing. 

In an early clinical trial, the vaccine was found to extend survival time from 12 to 18 months to 26 months, on average. Now a phase 2 trial will enroll up to 270 patients across 10 sites in the U.S. and China. Participants will receive four doses of SurVaxM, spread over two months, followed by a booster every two months. They will also undergo brain scans every two months to monitor for signs of progression.

The earliest results are expected in mid-2024.

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