Glioblastoma is a grade IV astrocytoma that is widely accepted in clinical neurosurgery as being an extremely lethal diagnosis. Long-term survival rates remain dismal, and even when tumors undergo gross resection with confirmation of total removal on neuroimaging, they invariably recur with even greater virulence. Standard therapeutic modalities as well as more contemporary treatments have largely resulted in disappointing improvements. However, the therapeutic potential of vaccine immunotherapy for malignant glioma should not be underestimated. In contrast to many of the available treatments, vaccine immunotherapy is unique because it offers the means of delivering treatment that is highly specific to both the patient and the tumor. Peptide, heat-shock proteins, and dendritic cell vaccines collectively encapsulate the majority of research efforts involving vaccine-based treatment modalities. In this review, important recent findings for these vaccine types are discussed in the context of ongoing clinical trials. Broad challenges to immunotherapy are also considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology