Neurology Central

Novel vaccines for glioblastoma: clinical update and perspective

Glioblastoma is the most common primary brain cancer. Aggressive treatment with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy provides limited overall survival benefit. Glioblastomas have a formidable tumor microenvironment that is hostile to immunological effector cells and these cancers produce profound systemic immunosuppression. However, surgical resection of these tumors creates conditions that favor the use of immunotherapeutic strategies. Therefore, extensive surgical resection, when feasible, will remain part of the equation to provide an environment in which active specific immunotherapy has the greatest chance of working. Toward that end, a number of vaccination protocols are under investigation. Vaccines studied to date have produced cellular and humoral antitumor responses, but unequivocal clinical efficacy has yet to be demonstrated. In addition, focus is shifting toward the prospect of therapies involving vaccines in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors and other immunomodulatory agents so that effector cells remain active against their targets systemically and within the tumor microenvironment.
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