This article is about a new Glioblastoma vaccine showing great promises in brain tumor treatment. We will also define different brain tumor treatments and surgery segmentations.
What is Glioblastoma?
Glioblastoma is aggressive cancer that originates from the brain. It is a form of brain tumor that spreads quickly and is very dangerous. A glioblastoma is a common form of a brain tumor in adults. Glioblastoma can appear in children too, but it is rare. They are more commonly seen in elderly people. Glioblastoma is also known as GBM (Glioblastoma multiforme) or grade 4 astrocytomas or GBM4.
Since the tumor is aggressive, the symptoms of Glioblastoma are quite serious and noticeable. Common signs include nausea, seizures, headaches, memory loss, and neurological problems. The symptoms can be seen from the point the tumor starts developing, and hence the treatment should be started early on.
The cause of Glioblastoma is among the mysteries in health science. There are no such bad habits or wrong actions that can cause Glioblastoma. Continuous research is being conducted to find the causes behind Glioblastoma.
With so much mystery for its causes, Glioblastoma treatments are close to the mystery as well. There are no sure-fire treatments for Glioblastoma tumors. The treatments currently available can slow down the damages occurring and relieve discomfort for a short period. The signs and symptoms can be reduced, and cancer progression can be slowed down, but complete elimination of Glioblastoma tumor is rare.
Brain cancer vaccine that can treat brain tumors
The new Glioblastoma vaccine has shown promising results in phase 1b clinical trials. The drug named IGV-001 is developed by Jefferson and Imvax over the course of 20 years. The trials were done by using the vaccine on 33 test patients who have recently been diagnosed with Glioblastoma multiforme. The results were compared with 35 Glioblastoma patients undergoing standard treatments. The test showed that patients who were treated with the IGV-001 vaccine tolerated the treatment well, and their cancer growth slowed down significantly. 15 out of 33 patients showed a complete stop in tumor growth.
All 33 patients had a longer and better quality survival than the 35 patients going through standard treatments. These results were presented during the Advances in Novel Immunotherapeutic session at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting this year. The results have come out as a surprise for many health experts, and everyone hopes for further developments in the vaccine.
The vaccine will need to pass several more tests before it can be produced for commercial use. The current Phase 1 results will be challenged again later this year during Phase 2 trials. Cancer treatment medications are passed through vigorous testing processes to ensure their benefits and safety. Currently, IGV-001 vaccine is proven to be safe as it was tolerated efficiently by bodies of all 33 patients. If the vaccine passes all the testing, it will be the most powerful brain cancer vaccine for Glioblastoma. It may not cure the patient, but it will be the best among the Glioblastoma treatment options available right now. Humans have only managed to slow down GBM and IGV-001 vaccine will be another tool to slow down cancer and give a quality survival time to patients.
Types of Brain Tumor Treatments available
There are no known treatments to Glioblastoma, and doctors focus their efforts on elevating the patient‘s survival time. However, there are several other types of tumors that are less severe than Glioblastoma. Several treatment methods are used for tackling brain tumors based on the severity, location, and type of tumor.
Surgery is an effective way used by doctors to reduce the size of the tumor. This treatment involves the removal of a tumor through surgical methods. Since brain tumors grow on regular neural tissues, complete removal of brain tumors is not possible. Doctors often remove some parts of the tumor and the remaining part is treated with other methods. Sometimes surgeries are used just to increase the survival time of a patient by reducing the size and speed of tumor growth surgically.
Radiotherapy treatment involves the use of high energy radioactive waves (usually x-rays) to attack the tumor cells. The rays when focused right can destroy the tumor cells. Radiotherapy can be used after surgery or as an independent treatment. This can be used for treating Glioblastoma, and it has shown miraculous results in some cases.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is usually combined with radiotherapy and surgery to unleash all round treatments on the tumor. Use of these three methods together can result in a cure of Glioblastoma too. Glioblastoma is a type of brain tumor that is so aggressive that it is usually untreatable. However, in rare cases and when the tumor is detected in very early stages, it can be mild down and eventually eliminated using radio and chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy is used during early stages of low-level brain tumors. This method aims at super boosting the immunity levels to allow the body to fight the tumor and destroy it on its own. This method is used to prevent surgeries and expensive chemotherapies on low-threat tumors. Immunotherapy is also combined with other treatments mentioned above to make the body stronger.
Global Segmentation of Brain Tumor Surgery
- Product type segment
This is the classification of brain tumors based on their types. Glioblastoma (gliomas) is one type. Other brain tumor types include Meningioma, Astrocytomas, and Pituitary Tumors. These are all classified under primary brain tumors and are severe. There are secondary brain tumors that are less severe.
- End-user segment
The segmentation of brain tumor surgeries based on the institutions performing them is the end user segmentation. The most common is the Hospital Pharmacies where surgeries are done in regular hospitals that treat a variety of other tumors. The other options include Speciality pharmacies and ambulatory surgical centers. Ambulatory centers specialize in performing emergency surgeries at any location. Speciality pharmacies are working specially for brain tumor treatments and are in higher demands than ambulatory surgery centers.
Today, there are treatment methods available for brain tumors in several hospitals and clinics. But severe tumors like Glioblastoma are still a mystery, and we can just reduce their aggressiveness to a limit. The IGV-001 vaccine is a step forward towards tackling Glioblastoma better. Though the vaccine only reduces the effects of tumors, it can prepare grounds for further development of stronger treatment methods. It is another step forward towards making Glioblastoma completely treatable.