CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Researchers have launched a nationwide study to help fight an aggressive form of brain cancer.
The University of Cincinnati College of Medicine is now enrolling patients in this trial.
It focuses on developing a vaccine that is specific to each patient.
All of the participants have been recently diagnosed with a type of brain cancer known as "glioblastoma."
Patients in the trial will have a vaccine made from their own brain cancer cells once the tumor is surgically removed.
"Basically, the group of patients we'll be studying are newly-diagnosed glioblastoma patients ages 18 to 70," said Dr. Soma Sengupta.
Dr. Sengupta of the UC College of Medicine says it's all part of a partnership with the biotechnology company Imvax.
The trial is testing what's called "personalized immunotherapy."
It's designed to work similar to a vaccine by training a patient's immune system to fight the tumor.
"Our lead asset is glioblastoma. We have pre-clinical data that shows, however, that this is a platform for a variety of other solid tumors," said Dr. David Andrews, a neurosurgeon and chief medical officer at Imvax.
Once the tumor cells are shipped to Imvax's facility, they are combined with a drug to form the precise vaccine-like therapy each patient needs.
It is then returned in a chamber form, which can be implanted in the patient's abdominal area for 48 hours.
By then, the immune system has had a chance to train itself to fight the tumor.
"The patient is making their own antibodies, and their own immune system is working to try and beat this cancer," Dr. Sengupta said.
The study is open to patients who are newly-diagnosed with glioblastoma and have not had surgery yet.
For more information, contact the UC brain tumor center at (513) 675-9656.
Those conducting the trial plan to keep track of the patients' health for the next several years.