(for newly diagnosed glioblastoma)
(pediatric brain tumors or neuroendocrine tumors)
An immunotherapy is a treatment designed to help your own immune system fight disease. Vaccines are one type of immunotherapy. Some vaccines (such as the flu vaccine) can help prevent disease. Other vaccines are therapeutic — designed to treat a disease after you already have it.
Robert Fenstermaker, MD, Chair of Neurosurgery at Roswell Park, and Michael Ciesielski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, have developed a therapeutic cancer vaccine for glioblastoma, a type of aggressive brain tumor. The vaccine is called SurVaxM.
How does SurVaxM work?
Glioblastomas and most other types of cancer produce a molecule called survivin, which helps the cancer cells survive. SurVaxM stimulates the patient’s immune system to produce white blood cells and antibodies that can recognize and attack any tumor cells that contain survivin, thus shutting down the cancer’s use of survivin as a lifeline.
SurVaxM is given as an injection in the arm after the patient has had surgery and completed radiation treatments. The patient receives four injections over a period of six weeks, followed by one every three months after that for as long as the vaccine continues to keep the disease in check.
What have the studies shown?
Research to develop the vaccine began more than a decade ago at Roswell Park, with clinical trials initiated in 2012. In 2022, the research team reported findings from a single-arm phase 2A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology showing that the vaccine, when combined with standard therapy, resulted in significantly longer survival than expected compared to historical data for patients treated with standard therapy alone.
The phase 2B randomized SURVIVE trial is currently underway at Roswell Park and other centers, open to newly diagnosed adult glioblastoma patients who meet eligibility criteria. SurVaxM is also being evaluated in early-phase studies of adult patients with multiple myeloma (study not currently recruiting) and some neuroendocrine tumors and in pediatric patients with some types of brain tumors.
We understand how frightening a brain tumor diagnosis can be. Contact us for a consultation by calling 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or filling out one of the forms above, and let’s talk about how we can help.
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Help accelerate the pace of SurvaxM clinical trials. Donations to the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation helped make early phase SurVaxM clinical studies possible and will continue to accelerate the pace and scope of future SurVaxM clinical trials. Make a potentially life changing contribution to this critical effort today.Make a donation