Roswell Park Cancer Center Opens Phase 2 Clinical Trial for Brain Cancer!

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is looking to treat patients in a newly opened advanced-stage clinical trial utilizing the brain cancer vaccine SurVaxM. This is offering a new treatment option for patients who are dealing with the rare but deadly form of the disease. The multicenter randomized clinical trial is sponsored by MimiVax LLC, a company spun off from Roswell Park in 2012.

Roswell Park is currently recruiting for the trial and is open to newly diagnosed adult glioblastoma patients, (phase 2B randomized SURVIVE trial)  At Roswell Park, the trial will be under the direction of Principal Investigator Ajay Abad, MD, a neurologic oncologist and faculty member in the Department of Neuro-Oncology. The trial is expected to be open across 15 sites in the United States and China.

Glioblastoma, though rare, is the most common primary brain cancer. Fast-growing and aggressive, the cancer is typically treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, but frequently recurs within a year of initial treatment.

SurVaxM, an immunotherapy developed at Roswell Park by Robert Fenstermaker, MD, Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and Michael Ciesielski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Oncology, is a unique treatment vaccine that targets survivin. Survivin is a protein that helps cancer cells stay alive. A recent single-arm phase II study in 63 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma demonstrated significantly longer survival rates for patients treated with SurVaxM, with 93.7% alive a year after diagnosis, compared to the expected 65% traditional survival rates.

“For years, we’ve struggled to move the needle further when it comes to finding good treatment options for glioblastoma. Our hope is that SurVaxM will offer patients both longer survival and better quality of life,” says Dr. Abad. “To hopefully be on the precipice of meaningful progress against glioblastoma and to be able to possibly see my patients outside of the hospital — years after their diagnosis — would be incredible.”

“Glioblastoma is a notoriously aggressive and hard-to-treat cancer. We are encouraged by the results from our earlier studies and excited to bring this treatment option to more brain cancer patients at more centers,” says Dr. Fenstermaker.

The research team gratefully acknowledge donations to Roswell Park, directly and through events like the Ride for Roswell, as critical support of their work through all phases.

For more information about this study or other brain cancer clinical trials available at Roswell Park, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or send an e-mail to

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