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First Vaccine prolongs Brain Cancer survival



Scientists at King's College Hospital have developed the world's first vaccine that can treat malignant brain tumours to help patients live for many years.

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Scientists at King's College Hospital have developed the world's first vaccine that can treat malignant brain tumours to help patients live for many years.

Vaccines are a form of immunotherapy that prompts the body's immune system to find and attack tumors.  It is considered as a personalized solution, suitable for each person's disease and physical condition.  Vaccines are made by combining proteins from a patient's own tumor with white blood cells, which in turn instruct the white blood cells to recognize and destroy the tumor.

First Vaccine prolongs Brain Cancer survival

In the study, a vaccine, called DCVax, was given to people with glioblastoma, the most common and malignant form of brain cancer.  Typically, people live an average of 12 to 18 months after diagnosis, some even less.  However, after testing the vaccine, some volunteers survived for more than eight years.

The vaccine could also treat people who have had a recurrence of their cancer, increasing the survival time to 13 months instead of 8 months in those who didn't get the shot.  Overall, 13% of vaccinated people survived for at least 5 years after being diagnosed, compared with 5% of those who didn't.

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The trial lasted eight years, involving 331 patients, of which 232 received DCVax and 99 received a placebo.  All volunteers received surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy to remove as much of the tumor as possible. This is the standard treatment for glioblastoma.

If approved by health regulators, DCVax will be the first new cancer treatment in 17 years.

First Vaccine prolongs Brain Cancer survival

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