Encouraging data on brain tumor vaccine announced

Officials with the vaccine company Antigenics announced on May 20 that data from a clinical trial for its product Oncophage was encouraging.

The findings of the clinical trial were presented this week at the International Conference on Brain Tumor Research and Therapy. The clinical trial was conducted by the University of California San Francisco’s brain tumor and research center.

Dr. Andrew T. Parsa, associate professor in the department of neurological surgery at UCSF and principal investigator of the trial, said that data from the 32 patients suggest that the Oncophage  vaccination may have improved overall survival in patients with recurrent high-grade glioma, a form of brain cancer.

An overall median survival of 44 weeks following tumor resection was noted in the study. The study also showed that approximately 70 percent of the patients survived beyond 36 weeks, and 41 percent survived up to or longer than one year.

Parsa said that he felt this was significant achievement in the treatment of recurrent glioma.

Study results also revealed Oncophage was well tolerated by the patients and that there were no serious adverse side-effects events related to the vaccine.

“The results from this trial suggest clear biological activity associated with Oncophage treatment as evidenced by stimulation of robust immune responses in the patients evaluated to date,” Parsa said. “Furthermore, I am encouraged that recurrent glioma patients treated with Oncophage are experiencing longer than anticipated survival without treatment-related toxicities. These data could potentially justify advancement into late-stage trials.”