News in Research on Glioblastoma in the First Two-Months 2023

Yesterday was the international day of rare diseases (such as glioblastoma) and this is the nineteenth article of the project which aims to collect (every two months) the latest research on possible treatments for glioblastoma multiforme.
Below are the news that we deemed most significant. As with the previous articles in the series, each news item will be preceded by the original title with a link to the source and followed by a brief comment. The criterion with which news items are chosen is always to generally include only news related to research in the clinical phase, unless the potential of research for the treatment of glioblastoma is truly remarkable.

Lifespan researchers announce major breakthrough in brain cancer vaccine trial.
This is a video about the DCVax trial that we’ve been talking about for the past few months. They talk about an 18-year-old survivor and recommend that patients undergoing surgery have their tumors frozen so they are ready when the FDA approves the vaccine and it becomes the new standard of care in the US. What I find difficult to understand is that once approved in the US, further steps will be needed for the treatment to become standard of care in Europe and Italy as well. The video also mentions the possibility of doing the treatment in the UK through a law that provides for the compassionate use of experimental treatments supported by scientifically valid data for a fee. It seems that the cost of the treatment is around €200,000. Freezing the sample is also useful to be able to make a complete genetic analysis of the individual patient’s glioblastoma and to use the information obtained to guide targeted and personalized therapy. The problem is that it is very rarely done.

Targeting the IL4 Receptor with MDNA55 in Patients with Recurrent Glioblastoma: Results of a Phase 2b Trial 
In this study, the group that received the highest dose of the drug that attacks the IL4 receptor that is overexpressed in patients with recurrent glioblastoma had a median survival of 15 months with 55% of the patients still alive after one year. The result is very good considering that we are dealing with patients with inoperable wildtype IDH recurrent glioblastoma.

Cancer Scientists Develop Powerful AI Algorithm To Help Tackle Deadly Glioblastoma
AI Algorithm Reveals New Targets in Half of All Glioblastoma Tumors
Researchers at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine have developed a sophisticated artificial intelligence algorithm that performs advanced computational analyzes to identify potential therapeutic targets for glioblastoma multiforme. They had previously developed a classifier capable of assigning each glioblastoma to one of four possible classes that can be treated specifically. In this case the algorithm appears to reveal the key drivers of two of the four types of glioblastoma multiforme. The algorithm known as SPHINX and the results of the study were published in Nature Cancer.

How long can you have glioblastoma before experiencing symptoms?
According to some researchers, once diagnosed, glioblastoma can grow very rapidly, for example it can double in size in 7 weeks. The initial phase, on the other hand, is less known and it seems that some changes in the immune system can start several years earlier. On average it seems it can start to develop even a year before the first symptoms appear.

There are no other significant innovations, however, many ask me if they hesitate in Italy for clinical trials similar to DCVax-L and at the moment the following are active:

Similarly several people ask me for information related to SurVaxM which is still an experimental treatment and is not yet approved by the FDA. The currently ongoing clinical trial is for newly diagnosed GBM patients and is open at 10 centers across the United States. There are currently no plans for sites outside the US. Any patient outside the US should meet trial eligibility and be able to participate in one of the US centers.

Good luck and sincere wishes to all those who are battling glioblastoma and their loved ones!