A study by Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and led by the team of Allan Dietz, PhD and Ian Parney, MD PhD, will test the ability of the immune system to fight tumors in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma (clinical trials identifier: NCT01957956). In this study, the patient donates blood to provide cells that can be differentiated into dendritic cells (cells in the body that are critical to stimulating immunity). The cells are processed in a special clean room facility specifically designed to produce cells as drugs (the Human Cell Therapy Lab). During the process of generating dendritic cells, the cells are pulsed with pieces of a glioblastoma tumor. The dendritic cells process these tumor pieces. When the dendritic cells with their tumor pieces are injected back into the patient, they educate the immune system to identify and attack the patient’s tumor. The study is testing this approach in patients to see if this is a safe and feasible approach as well as characterizing the immune system before and after treatment. We believe this approach has the potential to be a safe and efficacious addition to conventional therapy. When completed, this study should allow us to evaluate its potential as a therapy as well as increase the understanding of the immune status in patients and our ability to manipulate that status.
Allan Dietz, Ph.D.