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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £30-35 million a year

“Astonishing” results for brain tumour vaccine trial

Following being published in the high impact science journal JAMA OncologyThe Guardian has reported on a global clinical trial which has concluded that the world’s first vaccine to treat glioblastoma can potentially give patients years of extra life.

According to the paper the breakthrough could benefit the 2,500 people a year in the UK who are diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM) who live on average just 12-18 months after diagnosis.

Professor Keyoumars Ashkan, a neurosurgeon at King’s College hospital in London who was the European chief investigator of the trial said: “The final results of this phase three trial … offer fresh hope to patients battling with glioblastoma.”

The vaccine “was shown to prolong life and interestingly so in patients traditionally considered to have poorer prognosis” he added, such as older people and people for whom surgery was not an option.

If approved by medical regulators, the vaccine, DCVax, would be the first new treatment in 17 years for newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients and the first in 27 years for people in whom it had returned.

The Guardian approached Brain Tumour Research for comment on this news and Dr Karen Noble our Director of Research, Policy and Innovation said:

“Now this vaccine trial data have been peer-reviewed and published in a scientific journal the pathway should be set up for a route to the bedside of more patients who have been starved of new clinical options for too long.

“DCVax-L represents the first emerging therapy proven effective in treating GBM since temozolomide chemotherapy in 2005 and what the brain tumour community hopes is for it to be affordable, possibly becoming standard of care - so available on the NHS."

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