AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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UCLA Scientists Pioneer New Method to Identify Brain Cancer Patients Most Likely to Benefit from Immunotherapy

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Findings provide potential road map towards more personalized treatments for the disease 

Each year, an estimated 18,000 people in the U.S. will die from glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and deadly type of brain cancer. Based on the poor outcomes of current treatments, most patients who have been diagnosed with GBM are only given 12 to 24 months to live after undergoing conventional therapies that are currently being used such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Because of this, an urgent need for new treatments exist. So far, scientists in this field have been unable to predict with patients will likely benefit from a new treatment: immunotherapy. “We performed next generation sequencing of the T cell receptor repertoire on tumors and peripheral blood samples from 15 patients in this study. We found that when there were elevated levels of T cells initially present inside the glioblastoma tumor, the patients lived longer following immunotherapy compared to those without T-cell infiltration into their tumors,” said Prins, who is an associate professor in the Departments of Neurosurgery and Molecular and Medical Pharmacology and UCLA. “We also found that when there was a significant overlap of T cells with the same T cell receptors in the tumor and in the blood, survival was also extended.” To read more on this study, click here

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