Tetanus primer significantly improves survival after immunotherapy for glioblastoma

the ONA take:

A study led by Duke Cancer Institute researchers demonstrated that an innovative pretreatment can enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy for glioblastoma, dramatically improving patient survival.

Earlier research findings showed that glioblastoma tumors harbor a strain of cytomegalovirus (CMV) not present in the brain tissue around the tumor. This provides a natural target for immunotherapy.

Using dendritic cells, the researchers created a vaccine for the tumor. Patients with glioblastoma typically survive for little more than 1 year after diagnosis; however, after receiving the immunotherapy, half lived nearly 5 years or longer from their diagnosis.

Looking to expand on the effectiveness of the treatment, the researchers chose to use a shot of tetanus/diphtheria toxoid to incite the patient’s immune system.

In a blinded trial involving 12 patients with brain tumor, half were randomly selected to receive the tetanus shot; the other half received a placebo injection. The patients who received the tetanus shot had significantly longer survival than those who received the dendritic cell therapy alone (51-101 months vs 11.6 months).

One patient in the tetanus group continues to show no tumor growth and is still alive 8 years after the treatment.

Toward targeted treatments for brain cancer
An innovative pretreatment can enhance the effectiveness of immunotherapy for glioblastoma, dramatically improving patient survival.
An innovative approach using a tetanus booster to prime the immune system enhances the effect of a vaccine therapy for lethal brain tumors, dramatically improving patient survival, according to a study led by Duke Cancer Institute researchers.
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