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UCSF Launches New Phase of Brain Tumor Vaccine Trial

By Vanessa deGier, UCSF News Services | October 10, 2007

The Brain Tumor Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco has initiated a Phase 2 clinical trial of an investigational vaccine for treating glioma, a recurrent cancer of the central nervous system that occurs primarily in the brain.

The primary objective of the new trial is to evaluate overall survival in patients receiving vitespen vaccination (trademarked as Oncophage).

In an earlier Phase 1 trial of the vaccine, UCSF researchers showed that it was effective in stimulating the patient's immune system to attack tumor cells. Of the 12 patients treated, all showed an immune response.

"We are highly encouraged by the preliminary Phase 1 results in which we observed prolonged overall survival when compared with historical controls, as well as a tumor-specific immune response in all treated patients," said Andrew Parsa, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the UCSF Department of Neurological Surgery and principal investigator of the trial. "Commencement of this Phase 2 trial with Oncophage is an important milestone in the advancement of this novel therapy and represents a potentially important next step in the treatment of this devastating disease."

Read more at Vanessa deGier, UCSF News Services