• Study is first clinical trial of SurVaxM in pediatric population
  • Clinical trial is open to children with several forms of brain cancer
  • Immunotherapy targets cancer molecule that helps cancer cells survive

Newswise — BUFFALO, N.Y. — A brain cancer vaccine developed at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center — SurVaxM — is being utilized in a pilot study in children and adolescents marking the first clinical trial of the immunotherapy in a pediatric population. The multicenter trial is sponsored by the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium (PBTC), a group of North American-based academic centers and children’s hospitals that conducts studies toward the goal of improving the outcomes for children with primary brain tumors. PBTC research is supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under grant number UM1CA081457.

The study is open to children and young adults with several types of brain tumors: progressive or relapsed medulloblastoma, high-grade glioma, ependymoma or newly diagnosed diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma.

“Because cancer remains the leading cause of death from disease among children, childhood-specific research is key for identifying and advancing novel treatments and improving survival rates,” says Clare Twist, MD, study Chair and a pediatric oncologist with the Roswell Park Oishei Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Program. “A pilot study like this can chart the next steps in how we approach future trials and, eventually, how we care for young brain cancer patients.”

SurVaxM was invented at Roswell Park by Robert Fenstermaker, MD, Chair of Neurosurgery, and Michael Ciesielski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery. The vaccine, currently being developed by MimiVax LLC, is a unique immunotherapy that stimulates a patient’s immune system to target the molecule survivin, which is highly expressed in several brain cancers and helps cancer cells to survive.

The vaccine has been studied in several adult trials. A single-arm phase 2 study in 63 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma demonstrated significantly longer survival time for patients treated with SurVaxM, with 93.7% of participants alive a year after diagnosis, compared to expected 65% survival based on historical studies. Long-term follow-up just reported at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2022 annual meeting showed that that 51% of adult patients survived at least two years beyond diagnosis with glioblastoma, and 41% survived three years or more beyond diagnosis. Recruitment for a larger study in adults, the phase 2B randomized SURVIVE trial, is ongoing.

In addition to Roswell Park, the PBTC expects to roll out the study to approximately 12 other children’s centers across the country. The research team at Roswell Park gratefully acknowledge donations, directly and through events like the Ride for Roswell, as critical support of their work through all phases.

For more information about the study, visit the study summary at ClinicalTrials.gov or call 1-800-ROSWELL.

This press release is also available at: https://www.roswellpark.org/newsroom/202206-roswell-park-developed-immunotherapy-now-part-nationwide-study-kids-brain-cancer

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer’s grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in Upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or contact us at 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or [email protected].