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Mental Health Channel
Reported September 5, 2014

Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma

CHICAGO (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive brain cancer in humans. The deadly cancer is usually treated with radiation and chemo, but the tumor inevitably comes back. Now a new treatment, using the patient’s tumor could help slow down its progression and help patients live longer.

John and Kendall Suprock‘s 30th anniversary in Italy was full of romance.

John and Kendall Suprock told Ivanhoe, “I secretly gave her a present every day. So every day we were in Rome he gave me a present. But I didn’t tell her this was coming, so it was fun.”

Just one day after returning home, john lost his ability to read.

Kendall Suprock said, “That’s when they told us that you had a brain tumor.”

The tumor pressed up against the language center of his brain. Known as a glioblastoma, the deadly cancer has no cure.

“It really was kind of soul crushing when you realize how severe a diagnosis of GBM is,” Kendall Suprock told Ivanhoe.

Doctors removed the golf ball sized tumor, but three years later it came back.

Now a new experimental treatment using a patient’s own tumor is offering hope.

Andrew Parsa, MD, of Northwestern Medicine, told Ivanhoe, “It’s like getting a flu shot. Patients can fight their own disease if their immune system is educated in the right way and one of the ways to do that is with a vaccine.”

Parsa says the personalized vaccine works by teaching the immune system to target and destroy cancer cells.

John and his family are very optimistic.

John and Kendall Suprock told Ivanhoe, “ I think the vaccine has increased your confidence. Yeah it has because I think it’s going to work.”

Parsa hopes the vaccine will help change glioblastoma from a terminal cancer, to a chronic condition like diabetes that can be managed with medication.

Right now, a newly diagnosed patient who receives the vaccine, along with chemo and radiation, will live an average of 24 months versus a median survival of 15 months with standard care alone.   MORE.

More Information

Click here for additional research on Personalized Brain Vaccine for Glioblastoma.

Click here for Ivanhoe's full-length interview with Dr. Andrew Parsa.

If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas, mthomas@ivanhoe.com.

 

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