Brain Cancer Vaccine Hope
A Belgian pharmaceutical firm is developing the first vaccine against glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.
This hope for patients suffering from brain tumours comes from the Epitopoietic Research Corporation (ERC Belgium), a pharmaceutical company established in 2008 at the Crealys Science Park in Namur.
This disease, which remains incurable through conventional treatments (75% of patients die within 18 months of diagnosis), could very soon be better treated thanks to a patented technology based on immunotherapy using the macrophage system. As Dr Apostolos Stathopoulos, CEO of ERC Belgium, explains, “We take part of the tumour from the patient and mix it with tumours from other patients, then we’ll inject the combination, with other active ingredients, into the patient.” According to the first intermediate tests carried out, this treatment makes it possible to stabilise, or even shrink, the size of the tumour.
The objective that is emerging with this new type of treatment is that once all the cancerous cells have been destroyed using the macrophage system, the body will, in the long term, be able to maintain resistance to the disease.
Even though we know that not all patients react to immunotherapy, this discovery obviously gives hope to all the people (20,000 new diagnoses per year within the EU) affected by this so-called rare disease!