New vaccines against brain cancer with hopeful results

New vaccines against brain cancer with hopeful results

An international clinical trial, in which the Hospital Vall d'Hebron has participated, has first tested human immunotherapy vaccines in brain cancer for the first time in humans with hopeful results.

Hospital Vall d'Hebron has provided one of 15 patients who participated in the trial, in which they have provided two immunotherapy vaccines to treat glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain tumor with a poor prognosis and which has a therapeutic arsenal little cash for general survival.

For the first time in humans, this clinical study, published today by the journal 'Nature', has tested a new therapeutic concept consisting of immunotherapy vaccines adapted to the specific characteristics of individual tumors and immune systems of patients with glioblastoma

The study of the Glioma Actively Personalized Vaccination Consortium of Glioma (GAPVAC), international and multicentre, has been led by Dr. Wolfgang Wick, the University of Heidelberg and the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and Dr. Pierre-Yves Dietrich, of the University of Geneva.

Hcounted with the participation of doctors Juan Sahuquillo, head of the Research Group in Neurotraumatology and Neurosurgery (UNINN) of the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), Francisco Martínez Ricarte, researcher of the same group, and Jordi Rodón, researcher associated with the Group of Early Clinical Development of Drugs of the Vall d'Hebron Institut d'Oncologia (VHIO) and currently also a researcher at the MD Anderson Cancer Center of Texas, in the USA.

The study involved 15 patients from six European hospitals, one of them from Vall d'Hebron, all diagnosed with glioblastoma and received two therapeutic vaccines in succession.

The first of the vaccines, APVAC1, was actively personalized and targeted to non-mutated antigens, and the second, APVAC2, was directed against antigens.

The compositions of the vaccines were completely personalized for each patient depending on the analysis of the transcriptome, the immunopeptidoma and the mutanoma of the individual's tumors and, in the case of APVAC1, they were also based on the ability of each patient to develop an immune response.

According to the results of the trial, the two vaccines showed favorable safety and immunogenicity. Researchers have concluded that glioblastomas are susceptible to be approached with personalized immunotherapy.


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