Rush clinical trial testing vaccine for glioblastoma brain cancer
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IMAGE: Rush University Medical Center neuro-oncologists Clement Pillainayagam, M.D. and Joo Yeon Nam, M.D. review a brain tumor scan. view more 

Credit: Rush Production Group

Rush University Medical Center is part of a new clinical trial testing whether an experimental vaccine can help patients’ immune systems stop the spread of glioblastoma — an aggressive form of brain cancer with very few current treatment options.

Led by neuro-oncologist Clement Pillainayagam, MD, the phase II clinical trial is testing an investigational vaccine that will be given in conjunction with bevacizumab, an FDA-approved drug that targets the proteins glioblastoma cells need to grow blood vessels. Rush is one of only a few Midwest locations for this international trial, Drug Treatment Study for Recurrent or Progressive Glioblastoma.

Glioblastomas are malignant tumors that begin in the glial, or supportive, tissue of the brain and spread rapidly because they are supported by a large network of blood vessels. There is no known cure for glioblastoma tumors, and median survival is just four months without treatment and 15 to 19 months with treatment. In a stark reminder of the need for better treatments, U.S. Sen. John McCain died from glioblastoma on Aug. 25, one of more

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