(HealthDay News) – Use of autologous heat shock protein-peptide vaccine (HSPPC-96) is associated with improved survival for patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), according to a Phase 2 study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, held from April 14 to 18 in Miami.

Andrew T. Parsa, MD, PhD, from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues evaluated overall postoperative survival following HSPPC-96 vaccination in more than 40 patients with GBM. Survival data were compared with those from a group of 86 patients with GBM who were not enrolled in the HSPPC-96 clinical trial and were treated with alternative therapies. Participants and controls underwent >90% resection of recurrent GBM and had a Karnofsky Performance Status score >70.

The researchers found that the vaccine was well tolerated; no related grade 3 or 4 toxicities were experienced. Median survival was 47.6 weeks and six-month survival was 93% for patients treated with HSPCC-96. These scores were significantly improved compared with controls, who had a median survival of 32.8 weeks and a six-month survival of 68% (P=0.01).

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“Cancer vaccines for brain tumor patients offer the hope of a highly specific therapy with minimal toxicity,” Parsa said in a statement. “Based on the present study, we plan to move forward with a more definitive, randomized trial evaluating the efficacy of HSPPC-96 in combination with bevacizumab, compared to bevacizumab alone, in recurrent GBM patients undergoing surgical resection.”

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