Antigenics' brain tumor vaccine offers new hope in PhII study

A new brain tumor vaccine designed to use a patient's own cells is now in mid-stage trials and could offer new hope to patients who have already undergone therapy.

The Cleveland Plain Deal profiles the case of Leslie Robinson, who learned at the end of 2008 that he had Stage 4 glioblastoma. Robinson is now one of 50 patients enrolled in a Phase II study of the vaccine, which was based on the work of UC San Francisco investigator Dr. Andrew Parsa and licensed by Antigenics.

The vaccine uses heat shock protein and an adjuvant to trigger a strong immune response. "We take the patient's tumor out, and make a heat shock protein vaccine, and that vaccine can then prevent the tumor from coming back, theoretically," said Dr. Andrew Sloan, a neurological surgeon and director of the Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

"I'm glad to know that [the vaccine] might make me live a few more years," said Robinson.

- here's the article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer