UCPVax, an anti-telomerase vaccine, has demonstrated immunogenicity in patients with MGMT unmethylated glioblastoma, according to research presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting 2023.

In this phase 2 trial, 90% of patients who received UCPVax had strong and durable T-cell responses against TERT, said study presenter Antoine F. Carpentier, MD, PhD, of Hôpital Saint-Louis in Paris. 

The trial (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04280848) enrolled 31 patients with MGMT unmethylated glioblastoma who had a median age of 60.2 years. Patients had completed frontline treatment with temozolomide and concurrent radiotherapy 1 month earlier. They had also undergone complete resection (54%) or partial resection (46%).

Patients received UCPVax on days 1, 8, 15, 29, 36, and 43 of an initial priming phase and every 2 months thereafter until tumor progression. The vaccine was given for an average of 4.5 months (range, 2-14 months).

UCPVax was “highly immunogenic,” with 27 of 30 evaluable patients (90%) exhibiting a T-cell response against TERT, Dr Carpentier said.

The median progression-free survival was 8.9 months, and the median overall survival (OS) was 17.9 months. This OS was an improvement over the OS of less than 15 months seen in historical data, Dr Carpentier noted.

Dr Carpentier also pointed out that 12 patients in this study had immune responses against other tumor antigens in addition to TERT. These patients had a better median OS than the 13 patients without immune spreading — 20 months and 14.5 months, respectively (P =.026).

Most patients (93.5%) experienced grade 1-2 local skin reactions. Two patients experienced grade 3 adverse events (general disorders and nervous system disorders). There were no grade 4 adverse events and no dose-limiting toxicities.

These findings bolster the case for additional clinical research in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma, Dr Carpentier concluded.

Disclosures: Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Carpentier AF, Verlut C, Ghiringhelli F, et al. Anti-telomerase vaccine in patients with newly diagnosed, unmethylated MGMT glioblastoma: A phase II study. ASCO 2023. June 2-6, 2023. Abstract 2005.