AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 4, 2018


Neoantigen vaccine spurs immune response in glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is termed an immunologically ‘cold’ tumor – a disadvantage for treatment with immunotherapy – because the brain tumor contains very few immune cells that are required to generate an immune response against the tumor.

In a report, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they have shown that a personalized ‘neoantigen’ vaccine can spur a response against glioblastoma, with immune T-cells generated by the vaccine migrating into the brain tumor, creating a ‘hotter,’ inflamed environment around the cancer cells. The neoantigen vaccine approach has been pioneered in the laboratory of Catherine Wu, MD, at Dana-Farber.

“This is the first time it has been shown that a vaccine can generate immune cells against the tumor that can traffic from the bloodstream into a glioblastoma tumor,” said David Reardon, MD, senior author of the study. Reardon is clinical director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber.

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