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A multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled phase IIb trial of an autologous formalin-fixed tumor vaccine for newly diagnosed glioblastomas

Yoshihiro Muragaki, Eiichi Ishikawa, Takashi Maruyama, Masayuki Nitta, Taiichi Saito, Soko Ikuta, Takashi Komori, Takakazu Kawamata, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Koji Tsuboi, Akira Matsumura, Hideo Nakamura, Junichiro Kuroda, Tatsuya Abe, Yasutomo Momii, Ryuta Saito, Teiji Tominaga, Yusuke Tabei, Ichiro Suzuki, Yoshiki Arakawa, Susumu Miyamoto, Masao Matsutani, Katsuyuki Karasawa, Yoichi Nakazato, Katsuya Maebayashi, Koichi Hashimoto, and Tadao Ohno


An autologous formalin-fixed tumor vaccine (AFTV) derived from resected glioblastoma (GBM) tissue can be used against unidentified tumor antigens. Thus, the authors conducted a multicenter double-blind phase IIb trial to investigate the efficacy of an AFTV.


Eligible patients were adults with supratentorial GBMs, 16–75 years of age, with Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) scores ≥ 60%, and no long-term steroid administration. An AFTV comprising fixed paraffin-embedded tumor tissue with immune adjuvants or an identical placebo without fixed tumor tissue was injected intradermally over three courses before and after chemoradiotherapy. The primary and secondary end points were overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and 3-year survival rate.


Sixty-three patients were enrolled. The average patient age was 61 years. The median KPS score was 80%, and the median resection rate was 95%. The full analysis set of 57 patients indicated no significant difference in OS (p = 0.64) for the AFTV group (median OS 25.6 months, 3-year OS rate 38%) compared with the placebo group (31.5 months and 41%, respectively) and no difference in PFS (median PFS 13.3 months in both groups, p = 0.98). For patients with imaging-based total tumor removal, the 3-year PFS rate was 81% in the AFTV group versus 46% in the placebo group (p = 0.067), whereas the 3-year OS rate was 80% versus 54% (p = 0.16), respectively. Similar results were obtained in the p53-negative subgroups. Severe adverse effects were not observed.


The AFTV may have potential effects in certain patient subgroups. A phase III study for patients with total tumor removal remains warranted to confirm these findings.

Clinical trial registration no.: UMIN000010602 (UMIN Clinical Trials Registry)

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Proposed therapeutic strategy for adult low-grade glioma based on aggressive tumor resection

Masayuki Nitta, Yoshihiro Muragaki, Takashi Maruyama, Soko Ikuta, Takashi Komori, Katsuya Maebayashi, Hiroshi Iseki, Manabu Tamura, Taiichi Saito, Saori Okamoto, Mikhail Chernov, Motohiro Hayashi, and Yoshikazu Okada


There is no standard therapeutic strategy for low-grade glioma (LGG). The authors hypothesized that adjuvant therapy might not be necessary for LGG cases in which total radiological resection was achieved. Accordingly, they established a treatment strategy based on the extent of resection (EOR) and the MIB-1 index: patients with a high EOR and low MIB-1 index were observed without postoperative treatment, whereas those with a low EOR and/or high MIB-1 index received radiotherapy (RT) and/or chemotherapy. In the present retrospective study, the authors reviewed clinical data on patients with primarily diagnosed LGGs who had been treated according to the above-mentioned strategy, and they validated the treatment policy. Given their results, they will establish a new treatment strategy for LGGs stratified by EOR, histological subtype, and molecular status.


One hundred fifty-three patients with diagnosed LGG who had undergone resection or biopsy at Tokyo Women's Medical University between January 2000 and August 2010 were analyzed. The patients consisted of 84 men and 69 women, all with ages ≥ 15 years. A total of 146 patients underwent surgical removal of the tumor, and 7 patients underwent biopsy.


Postoperative RT and nitrosourea-based chemotherapy were administered in 48 and 35 patients, respectively. Extent of resection was significantly associated with both overall survival (OS; p = 0.0096) and progression-free survival (PFS; p = 0.0007) in patients with diffuse astrocytoma but not in those with oligodendroglial subtypes. Chemotherapy significantly prolonged PFS, especially in patients with oligodendroglial subtypes (p = 0.0009). Patients with a mutant IDH1 gene had significantly longer OS (p = 0.034). Multivariate analysis did not identify MIB-1 index or RT as prognostic factors, but it did identify chemotherapy as a prognostic factor for PFS and EOR as a prognostic factor for OS and PFS.


The findings demonstrated that EOR was significantly correlated with patient survival; thus, one should aim for maximum tumor resection. In addition, patients with a higher EOR can be safely observed without adjuvant therapy. For patients with partial resection, postoperative chemotherapy should be administered for those with oligodendroglial subtypes, and repeat resection should be considered for those with astrocytic tumors. More aggressive treatment with RT and chemotherapy may be required for patients with a poor prognosis, such as those with diffuse astrocytoma, 1p/19q nondeleted tumors, or IDH1 wild-type oligodendroglial tumors with partial resection.

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Phase II clinical study on intraoperative photodynamic therapy with talaporfin sodium and semiconductor laser in patients with malignant brain tumors

Clinical article

Yoshihiro Muragaki, Jiro Akimoto, Takashi Maruyama, Hiroshi Iseki, Soko Ikuta, Masayuki Nitta, Katsuya Maebayashi, Taiichi Saito, Yoshikazu Okada, Sadao Kaneko, Akira Matsumura, Toshihiko Kuroiwa, Katsuyuki Karasawa, Yoichi Nakazato, and Takamasa Kayama


The objective of the present study was to perform a prospective evaluation of the potential efficacy and safety of intraoperative photodynamic therapy (PDT) using talaporfin sodium and irradiation using a 664-nm semiconductor laser in patients with primary malignant parenchymal brain tumors.


In 27 patients with suspected newly diagnosed or recurrent primary malignant parenchymal brain tumors, a single intravenous injection of talaporfin sodium (40 mg/m2) was administered 1 day before resection of the neoplasm. The next day after completion of the tumor removal, the residual lesion and/or resection cavity were irradiated using a 664-nm semiconductor laser with a radiation power density of 150 mW/cm2 and a radiation energy density of 27 J/cm2. The procedure was performed 22–27 hours after drug administration. The study cohort included 22 patients with a histopathologically confirmed diagnosis of primary malignant parenchymal brain tumor. Thirteen of these neoplasms (59.1%) were newly diagnosed glioblastomas multiforme (GBM).


Among all 22 patients included in the study cohort, the 12-month overall survival (OS), 6-month progression-free survival (PFS), and 6-month local PFS rates after surgery and PDT were 95.5%, 91%, and 91%, respectively. Among patients with newly diagnosed GBMs, all these parameters were 100%. Side effects on the skin, which could be attributable to the administration of talaporfin sodium, were noted in 7.4% of patients and included rash (2 cases), blister (1 case), and erythema (1 case). Skin photosensitivity test results were relatively mild and fully disappeared within 15 days after administration of photosensitizer in all patients.


Intraoperative PDT using talaporfin sodium and a semiconductor laser may be considered as a potentially effective and sufficiently safe option for adjuvant management of primary malignant parenchymal brain tumors. The inclusion of intraoperative PDT in a combined treatment strategy may have a positive impact on OS and local tumor control, particularly in patients with newly diagnosed GBMs. Clinical trial registration no.: JMA-IIA00026 (