Glioblastoma is the most common
brain tumor found in adults. Also called
Grade IV astrocytoma.
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the
most deadly of all brain tumors.
Standard therapy often does not
provide a cure and causes side effects
that diminish quality of life.A primary
brain tumor is a group (mass) of
abnormal cells that start in the brain.
A metastatic brain tumor is brain
cancer that has spread from another
part of the body.
Approximately five out of every
100,000 Americans are diagnosed
each year with glioblastoma, according
to the American Brain Tumor
NOVOCURE'S NOVOTTF DEVICE
FOR RECURRENT GLIOBLASTOMA
The FDA approved this device in April,
It uses electrical energy to kill brain
cancer cells. The device, approved for
those who have malignant tumors
known as glioblastoma multiforme,
adds a potential new alternative to
chemotherapy for patients with
advanced brain tumors.
Study results show that NovoTTF, a
novel, noninvasive, portable medical
device, may be as or more effective
than the best available
chemotherapies for GBM, but without
the toxicity usually associated with
cytotoxic or targeted treatments.
NovoTTF delivers low-intensity
electrical fields directly to a patient’s
scalp via four electrodes. The
electrical fields appear to interfere with
the process of cell division, halting the
The study enrolled 237 patients with
recurrent, late-stage GBM, the most
malignant form of primary brain
cancer. Using low intensity, alternating
electric fields to disrupt tumor growth,
NovoTTF is the first non-drug, non-
radiation, non-surgical treatment
approach to show promise of clinical
benefit for the treatment of brain
The randomized, controlled, phase III
clinical trial compared NovoTTF
monotherapy with the best available
chemotherapy. Patients treated with
NovoTTF lived as long as those
treated with the best available
chemotherapy, including bevacizumab.
But the device-wearers didn’t have the
debilitating side effects of nausea,
fatigue, anemia and serious infection
common to chemotherapy.
The device-wearers did have more
neurological side effects, including
convulsions and headaches,
compared with those who underwent
chemotherapy. Actually wearing the
device could be a headache too—the
6-pound device is carried in a satchel,
day and night, while four electrodes
warm the (shaved) areas of the scalp.
Still, a survey of the two groups
suggested that those who wore the
device had a better quality of life than
those who received chemotherapy.
The device is only intended more or
less as a last try—surgery,
chemotherapy, and radiation therapy
are the standard ways of trying to slow
down brain cancer -- but for patients
with recurring cancers the options are
Northwest Biotherapeutics' DCVax
immunotherapy vaccine to treat brain
In the case of Glioblastoma, the
median time from initial diagnosis to
death with full standard of care
treatment - surgery, radiation and
chemotherapy - is only about 14.6
months. With NWBT's DCVax-Brain
vaccine added, that survival time is
extended to a median time of about
36.4 months in clinical trials thus far.
The DCVax works by using the
patient's dendritic cells, which are
called "the general of the army," to
mobilize the "foot soldiers," such as T-
cells, to fight the cancer.
Malignant brain tumors often recur
within seven months of their removal,
and in 14 months, you're dead. We
saw that with Ted Kennedy and he had
access to every medical treatment on
Patients in trials receiving DCVax had
a median survival of 38.7 months,
versus 25.9 months for Provenge.
Also, 64 percent of patients receiving
DCVax survived three years, versus 34
percent for Provenge.
Much like Dendreon's ground-breaking
Provenge cancer vaccine, DCVax-
Brain now in Phase II/III clinical trials. It
is entirely personalized for each
recipient and, to date, its power and
success has begun to cause the
Under the standard of care treatment,
less than 5% of Glioblastoma patients
are still alive after 5 years. Just as
significant, 80% of all the patients
receiving the treatment experienced a
positive response – far better than the
typical 25% response rate for most
cancer drugs. And, unlike
chemotherapy, DCVax vaccines are
non-toxic and are well tolerated.
What's more, DCVax® is non-toxic with
no serious side effects, and is a far
more cost effective treatment option
over chemotherapy for both the patient
and the healthcare system at large.
CDX-110 IS BRAIN VACCINE FOR
A new vaccine CDX-110 uses the
body's own immune system to attack
tumor cells. It won't work on every
GBM patient, just the 40 percent
whose tumors make one particular
protein. In those patients, it works like
a smart bomb.
An interim analysis of the clinical trial
data showed that the vaccine CDX-110
prolong the lifetime of 70% patients
afflicted with glioblastoma multiforme
(GBM) – the most deadly form of brain
cancer — without worsening their
CDX-110 is an immunotherapy that
targets the tumor specific molecule
called EGFRvIII. CDX-110 is designed
to activate the patient’s immune
response against tumor cells
specifically expressing the EGFRvIII
This protein is a variant of the
epidermal growth factor receptor
(EGFR), and is found in brain cancer
Unlike EGFR, EGFRvIII is not present
in normal tissues. This makes it a safer
option as it will enable the
development of a tumor-specific
therapy for cancer patients.
CDX is currently being developed by
Celldex Therapeutics in collaboration
with Pfizer Inc.