Treatment for brain tumors includes surgery, radiation therapy,
and chemotherapy. These therapies may be delivered alone or in combination.
It is estimated that over 18,000 primary brain tumors occur in the United
States each year. Of the those 18,000, over 60% are gliomas.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most malignant of all
gliomas with 75% of patients dying within 18 months of diagnosis since they
cannot be cured by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or any other
available treatment modality. The use of allogeneic/syngeneic/and xenogeneic
cell lines and lysis may lead to a reduction in tumor size and perhaps
rejection thereby increasing survival. In the future, allogeneic cell
lines may also be used as a vaccination from common cancers. The
manipulation of the immune system may be a useful way to have the body itself
contribute to the treatment and prevention of cancer. Our research focuses
on increasing the efficiency of the immune system to recognise and reject
the malignant cells.
The results of our original animal experiments are very encouraging and
we are expecting to have a clinical trial as soon as they are completed.
Dr. Stathopoulos and his research team are one of the first groups in the world to be preparing an allogeneic vaccine for GBM. For more info, please go to ERC (Epitopoietic Research Corporation)
Allogeneic vaccines: Allogeneic (pronounced "al-oh-jen-ay-ick") means
"coming from another." These vaccines use cells of a particular cancer type
that originally came from someone other than you.
Allogeneic vaccines are easier to make than autologous vaccines -- they are
more like off-the-shelf drugs than a vaccine made specifically for one
person. The cells for the vaccine are grown in the lab from a stock of
cancer cells kept for that purpose. Some allogeneic tumor vaccines use a
mixture of cells, originally removed from several patients. The cells are
treated and are usually injected along with one or more adjuvant substances
to stimulate the immune system.
While the FDA has not yet approved any tumor cell vaccines for general use,
they are being studied in clinical trials against several types of cancer
including: melanoma, kidney cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and leukemia.
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