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Glioblastoma Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial

Ninety percent of subjects respond to treatment

A new cancer vaccine (IMA950) for glioblastoma has met the two primary endpoints of safety and immunogenicity in an early study conducted by Cancer Research UK.

The group has entered a license agreement with a German company, Immatics Biotechnologies, in which Immatics will continue to develop the vaccine for the most common and lethal adult brain tumor.

The decision was based on positive results from a phase I trial in which 45 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma were treated with IMA950 in addition to standard-of-care surgery and concomitant or adjuvant chemotherapy with temozolomide. The results showed that 90% of patients responded to the vaccine.

IMA950 uses 11 different human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-restricted tumor-associated peptides (TUMAPs). TUMAPS are known to be over-expressed on the surface of glioblastoma tumors, where they trigger the patient’s immune system to recognize and kill tumor cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

Chief investigator Professor Roy Rampling said: “In our study we investigated whether patients newly diagnosed with the most common and aggressive type of malignant brain tumor, called glioblastoma, could mount an appropriate immune response when given IMA950 and if the vaccine was safe. IMA950 was very simple to administer and was very well tolerated. Importantly, we were very pleased to see that nearly all patients mounted an immune response that could be detected in the blood, which is the first step in establishing clinical activity before determining patient benefit in subsequent studies.”

Source: Cancer Research UK; April 23, 2014.

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