Brain Cancer: Soon a vaccine against Glioblastoma?

Swiss and German researchers have unveiled a promising vaccine against glioblastoma, which adapts to the brain tumors specific to each patient.

Glioblastoma is a very aggressive form of brain cancer that frequently affects young adults and children. It is a cancer that remains difficult to treat, unlike other cancers for which recent advances in immuno-therapy have considerably increased life expectancy.

But the results of a trial conducted by researchers at the Universities of Geneva (Switzerland) and Heidelberg (Germany) could well change the outcome. European researchers have indeed unveiled a “therapeutic vaccine” against glioblastoma, which can be adapted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the specific characteristics of the brain tumor of each patient.

Each tumor has its “bar-code”
“Our goal is to develop vaccines” to the map “, adapted to the individual characteristics of the tumor and the immune system of the patient. To do this, we have defined the fingerprint of each tumor allowing it to be recognized individually by the cells of the immune system. The goal is to identify the “bar-code” of the tumor and use it as a personalized vaccine, different for each patient “explains Prof. Pierre-Yves Dietrich, professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Geneva and co-director of this essay Clinic with Wolfgang Wick, head of the Neurology Clinic at the University of Heidelberg.

A promising first trial of 15 PATIENTS
Fifteen patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma were successively given two therapeutic vaccines whose composition was personalized for each according to genomic analysis (tumor identity card) and peptide ( The fingerprint of the tumor), “as well as depending on the ability of each patient to prepare an immune response against each component of the vaccine.”

Both types of vaccines have induced intense immune responses, never seen so far in the treatment of brain tumors. “We have crossed a major obstacle which seemed insurmountable 5 years ago, and which opens up a real hope for the treatment of these still devastating diseases.”


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