BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is the first center to treat patients in a newly opened advanced-stage clinical trial utilizing the brain cancer vaccine SurVaxM, offering a new treatment option for patients who are dealing with a rare but deadly form of the disease. The multicenter randomized clinical trial is sponsored by MimiVax LLC, a company spun off from Roswell Park in 2012.
Currently recruiting, the phase 2B randomized SURVIVE trial is open to newly diagnosed adult glioblastoma patients. At Roswell Park, the trial will be under the direction of Principal Investigator Ajay Abad, MD, a neurologic oncologist and faculty member in the Department of Neuro-Oncology. Altogether, the trial is expected to be open across 15 sites in the United States and China.
Glioblastoma, though rare, is the most common primary brain cancer. Fast-growing and aggressive, the cancer is typically treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but frequently recurs within a year of initial treatment. Median survival for patient with standard therapy is 16 months.
SurVaxM, an immunotherapy developed at Roswell Park by Robert Fenstermaker, MD, Chair of Neurosurgery, and Michael Ciesielski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology, and now being developed by MimiVax, is a unique treatment vaccine that targets survivin, a protein that helps cancer cells stay alive. A recent single-arm phase II study in 63 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma demonstrated significantly longer survival time for patients treated with SurVaxM, with 93.7% alive a year after diagnosis, compared to expected 65% survival based on historical studies.
“For years, we’ve struggled to move the needle as far as good treatment options for glioblastoma. Our hope is that SurVaxM will offer patients both longer survival and better quality of life,” says Dr. Abad, who is also an Assistant Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park. “To hopefully be on the precipice of meaningful progress against glioblastoma and to be able to possibly see my patients outside of the hospital — years after their diagnosis — would be incredible.”
“Glioblastoma is a notoriously aggressive and hard-to-treat cancer. We are encouraged by the results from our earlier studies and excited to bring this treatment option to more brain cancer patients at more centers,” says Dr. Fenstermaker.
The research team gratefully acknowledge donations to Roswell Park, directly and through events like the Ride for Roswell, as critical support of their work through all phases.
For more information about this study or other clinical trials available at Roswell Park, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or send an e-mail to AskRoswell@Roswellpark.org.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or ASKRoswell@RoswellPark.org.
Assistant Professor of Oncology and Neurology Department of Neuro-Oncology
Dr. Abad is interested in clinical management of glioma patients who develop venous thrombosis after diagnosis, and developing methods to risk-stratify patients in terms of venous thrombosis risk to consider prophylactic anticoagulation in high-risk indiv