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Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2009 Aug;9(8):1087-98. doi: 10.1517/14712590903124346.

The PEPvIII-KLH (CDX-110) vaccine in glioblastoma multiforme patients.

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  • 1University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Neurosurgery, Unit 422, Houston, TX 77230-1402, USA.


Conventional therapies for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) fail to target tumor cells exclusively, resulting in non-specific toxicity. Immune targeting of tumor-specific mutations may allow for more precise eradication of neoplastic cells. EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII) is a tumor-specific mutation that is widely expressed in GBM and other neoplasms and its expression enhances tumorigenicity. This in-frame deletion mutation splits a codon, resulting in a novel glycine at the fusion junction producing a tumor-specific epitope target for cellular or humoral immunotherapy. We have previously shown that vaccination with a peptide that spans the EGFRvIII fusion junction (PEPvIII-KLH/CDX-110) is an efficacious immunotherapy in syngeneic murine models. In this review, we summarize our results in GBM patients targeting this mutation in multiple, multi-institutional Phase II immunotherapy trials. These trials demonstrated that a selected population of GBM patients who received vaccines targeting EGFRvIII had an unexpectedly long survival time. Further therapeutic strategies and potential pitfalls of using this approach are discussed.

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