Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain tumour with a poor prognosis. Hopes for a vaccine to tackle the disease are bolstered by positive results from a phase I trial reported in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy (online, 14 November 2014)
The vaccine, developed by Larry Harshyne and team at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, consists of the patient’s own glioblastoma cells extracted during brain surgery to remove the tumour. The tumour cells are incubated with an antisense oligodeoxynucleotide directed against the insulin-like growth factor type 1 receptor and then packaged inside a diffusion chamber that is inserted into the patient’s abdomen.
Out of 12 patients, the vaccine elicited a positive clinical response in eight patients and an immune response in six patients. Further clinical trials are planned for January 2015.
 Harshyne LA, Hooper KM, Andrews EG et al. Glioblastoma exosomes and IGF-1R/AS-ODN are immunogenic stimuli in a translational research immunotherapy paradigm. Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy 2014. doi:10.1007/s00262-014-1622-z (accessed 14 November 2014).