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Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo). 2017 Jul 15;57(7):321-330. doi: 10.2176/nmc.nmc.ra.2016-0334. Epub 2017 May 24.

Prospect of Immunotherapy for Glioblastoma: Tumor Vaccine, Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors and Combination Therapy.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba.


To date, clinical trials of various vaccine therapies using autologous tumor antigens or tumor-associated/specific antigen peptide with adjuvants have been performed to treat patients with high-grade gliomas (HGG). Furthermore, immune checkpoint pathway-targeted therapies including anti- programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) antibody have been remarkably effective in other neoplasms, and various clinical trials with anti-PD-1 antibody in patients with HGG have started to date. It is possible that up-regulation of immune checkpoint molecules in tumor tissues after vaccine therapy may be one of the mechanisms of vaccine failure. Multiple preclinical studies indicate that combination therapy with vaccination and immune checkpoint blockade is effective for the treatment of malignant tumors including HGG. Thus, immunotherapy, especially combination therapy with vaccine and immune checkpoint inhibitors, may be a promising strategy for treatment of patients with HGG.


PD-1; autologous formalin-fixed tumor vaccine; brain tumor immunotherapy; glioblastoma; immune checkpoint inhibitor

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