Could a specialized cancer vaccine actually improve patient outcomes? According to a news release from biotechnology company AIVITA Biomedical, Inc. (“AIVITA”), the answer could be “yes.” Citing data from a Phase 2 clinical trial, AIVITA shared that its personalized cancer vaccine AV-GBM-1 improved progression-free survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. Progression-free survival is the amount of time during and after treatment that a patient lives with their condition without it worsening.
According to the Specialty Pharmacy Service, AV-GBM-1 is a cell-based therapy where:
Cancer stem cells from tumor samples are isolated, purified, inactivated and antigenic material is combined with dendritic cells which directs the immune system to eliminate malignant cells.
This novel immunotherapy is administered subcutaneously. Altogether, AV-GBM-1 works to target and eliminate multiple antigens to prevent glioblastoma growth or progression.
57 patients enrolled in the clinical trial. During the trial, patients received 8 AV-GBM-1 doses over a 6-month period. Next, researchers evaluated patient responses within a follow-up period, which lasted between 10.1-27.6 months. During this time, researchers discovered:
- AV-GBM-1 was relatively safe and well-tolerated. While 54 serious adverse reactions occurred, none of these reactions were attributed to treatment.
- In the STUPP study, researchers determined that the median progression-free survival for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma was 6.9 months. Within this trial, the median progression-free survival was 10.4 months. Thus, AV-GBM-1 improved progression-free survival by around 50%.
Unfortunately, glioblastoma is extremely aggressive. Only around 25% of patients survive for one year following diagnosis, with less than 5% surviving for over 5 years. Thus, AV-GBM-1 offers the opportunity to improve patient outcomes and quality of life (QOL), while ultimately increasing survival rates.
Doctors are not sure exactly what causes glioblastoma, a rare cancer which forms in astrocyte cells in the brain. However, having a genetic disorder, or having previously had radiation therapy, increases the chances of developing glioblastoma. These highly malignant tumors are able to make their own blood supply. Ultimately, this helps glioblastoma tumors grow and spread. Glioblastoma tends to occur in older adults. Additionally, males are more susceptible to this form of cancer than females. Symptoms vary. However, symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent headaches
- Appetite loss
- Difficulty thinking or speaking
- Muscle weakness
- Sensory impairment
- Changes in mood or personality
- Vision changes, such as blurred or double vision
Learn more about glioblastoma.