by Dr. C.H. Weaver M.D. updated 10/2022
Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer in adults. With standard therapy — surgery followed by chemoradiation and then adjuvant chemotherapy — the median overall survival is 15 months, with only 3-5% of patients living 5 years or more.
Researchers are exploring whether adding SurVaxM to standard therapy improves outcomes for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Analyzing the initial results for 63 patients treated with this combination, the team found that 91% of patients receiving SurVaxM as part of this combination therapy were still living 12 months after initiating treatment, compared to 61% in a historical analysis of patients treated with standard therapy alone, and that 96% achieved six-month progression-free survival, compared to 54% among the historical comparison group. Moreover, 13 of 63 patients continue to be without progression a year or longer into their participation in the study.
SurVaxM, which was invented at Roswell Park, targets a cell-survival protein called survivin that is present in 95% of patients with glioblastomas, and also in patients with many other cancers. Awarded orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2017, the vaccine has dual mechanisms of action to stimulate a patient’s T-cell immunity and also employs antibody-directed inhibition of the survivin pathway to control tumor growth and prevent or delay tumor recurrence.
Additional follow up of the 63 newly diagnosed patients was provided in 2022. These patients were treated with standard Temazolamide (TMZ) chemoradiation followed by 4 priming doses of SurVaxM. Maintenance doses of SurVaxM plus sargramostim were thereafter administered every 12 weeks. Adjuvant TMZ was administered for at least 6 cycles after at least the first dose of SurVaxM.
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Two and three year average survival are reported to be 51% and 41% respectively. Average survival was 66% and 56% respectively for individuals with methylation. Treatment was well tolerated without significant side effects.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is the first center to treat patients with newly diagnosed GBM utilizing the brain cancer vaccine SurVaxM.
For more information about the phase II clinical trial, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355)