Will a vaccine made of stem cells be effective against a deadly brain tumor in children?
Project Title: Pilot Study of Imiquimod and Tumor Lysate Vaccine Immunotherapy for DIPG in Children and Young Adults
Researcher: Christopher L. Moertel, MD
Institution: University of Minnesota
Study Type: Phase I clinical trial
Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is very difficult to treat. Surgery and radiation are the most commonly used treatments for cancers of the brain, since cancer treatments have a hard time penetrating the blood brain barrier. But tumors located in the brain stem, as is the case for DIPG, cannot be surgically removed, and radiation only delays the tumor growth by a few months at best. Researchers are urgently looking for ways to improve survival among children with this disease. Solving Kids’ Cancer identified a novel trial using a cancer vaccine modeled after one used in adults for a deadly brain tumor called glioblastoma. As part of this trial, the vaccine will be combined with the drug imiquimod, which enhances the response of the immune system to attack and kill cancer cells.