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Study Finds Celldex Vaccine Improves Long-Term Brain Cancer Survival

The vaccine targets a specific genetic mutation that occurs in about 30% of GBM tumors

New data from a mid-stage trial show that an experimental brain cancer vaccine, combined with standard therapy, continues to improve chances of survival for patients with recurrent cancer.

The therapy is designed to enlist the body's immune system to fight glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). According to Reuters, the study showed that 25% of patients given rindopepimut (Rintega, Celldex Therapeutics Inc.)  along with Roche Holding AG's bevacizumab were alive after two years, compared with no survivors in the group of patients given only bevacizumab.

Results from the 73-patient trial were presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology. "The long-term survival benefit observed in this study is unprecedented," Dr. David Reardon, clinical director at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Center for Neuro-Oncology and the study's lead investigator, said in a statement. Rindopepimut, which was granted breakthrough therapy designation by the FDA last year, targets a specific genetic mutation that occurs in about 30% of GBM tumors. Currently, the median survival for such patients with recurrent GBM is about nine months, Celldex said.

The latest trial results showed that 32% of patients treated with rindopepimut and bevacizumab  were alive after 18 months, compared with 13% of those given only bevacizumab.

Celldex has previously reported that the trial met its main goal of showing that rindopepimut patients were more likely to be alive after six months without their cancer worsening. Early next year, Celldex said, it expects to report interim results from a study of rindopepimut in patients with newly diagnosed GBM.

Source: Reuters, November 23, 2015.

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