Lee Tessler, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., F.A.C.S., is the Executive Director and Co-Surgical Director of The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC).
Online PR News – 19-November-2013 – Rockville Centre, NY – Dr. Tessler was recently interviewed on Fox News and Fox Business News about the Center’s late-stage Phase III clinical trial of a novel brain cancer treatment known as “DCVax - Brain.”
This personalized cancer vaccine, which is made from patients’ own cells, is being tested with patients who are newly diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. The study is currently enrolling participants, and is being conducted at Long Island Brain Tumor Center at NSPC offices in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York.
The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at NSPC is the only study site on Long Island. In the news story, Dr. Tessler describes the process that begins with surgical removal of the patient’s tumor. The patient's immune cells are then harvested and exposed in the laboratory to the biomarkers taken from the patient's tumor. These conditioned immune cells are then injected back into the patient through a simple injection under the skin in the upper arm, similar to a flu shot.
“The patient’s own immune system actually fights the cancer,” said Dr. Tessler.
Joining neurosurgeon Dr. Tessler as investigators on the study are neuro-oncologists Jai Grewal, M.D. and J. Paul Duic, M.D., Co-Medical Directors of The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at NSPC, as well as neurosurgeons Jeffrey A. Brown, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., F.A.C.S. and Ramin Rak, M.D., F.A.A.N.S., F.A.C.S. A number of Long Island hospitals are collaborating with the Center on this study.
The standard treatment for patients with glioblastoma is surgery to remove their tumor, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Patients entering the study agree to participate before they undergo surgery.
Patients enrolled in the study must be newly diagnosed with malignant glioblastoma. All patients in the study receive the current standard of care for those newly diagnosed with glioblastoma following surgery – temozolomide (Temodar®) plus radiation therapy – and also receive either the vaccine or a placebo. The odds of being randomized to the active vaccine are two out of three (67 percent). The study is double-blinded – neither the research investigator nor patient knows whether the vaccine is being given. Patients who receive the placebo will have the option of being given the vaccine if their disease progresses.
Malignant brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer deaths in people under 35, and the fourth leading cause of cancer death in people under 54. Glioblastoma is the most common and most aggressive primary (non-metastatic) type of brain cancer. Median survival for glioblastomas is 12-14 months, and only 26 percent of patients survive two years.
DCVax - Brain, also known as DCVax - L, is made by Northwest Biotherapeutics. The company is testing other versions of the vaccine against various types of cancer.
The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at Neurological Surgery, P.C. offers a multi-disciplinary approach to treating brain tumors, provided by a team of more than 20 physicians and surgeons with various sub-specialties. The team works in concert with each patient's established health care professionals, and treats primary brain and spinal tumors, as well as metastases.
In addition to offering standard-of-care therapies for brain tumors, and novel treatments such as NovoTTF, the Center is currently conducting a number of clinical trials. These include studies for patients with both newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma, metastatic tumors, brain lymphoma and all types of solid brain tumors.
For more information on this or other brain tumor studies, please call Kimberly Prabhu, M.A., CCRP, (516) 478-0010. For additional information about The Long Island Brain Tumor Center at NSPC, please visit www.braintumor.com
To view the Fox News segments, go to: http://nspc.com/drtessler-dcvax.html
About Neurological Surgery, P.C.
Neurological Surgery, P.C. is one of the New York City area’s premier neurosurgical groups, offering patients the most advanced treatments of brain and spine disorders. These include minimally invasive procedures such as stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma Knife®, CyberKnife® and Novalis Tx®), aneurysm coiling, neuro-endoscopy, spinal stimulators, carotid stents, interventional pain management, microdiscectomy, kyphoplasty, and other types of minimally invasive spine surgery. The practice’s physicians represent a range of surgical and nonsurgical specialties, combining compassionate care with highly specialized training. They are leaders in the region’s medical community, with appointments as chiefs of neurosurgery in some of Long Island’s best hospitals. NSPC offers 10 convenient locations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, as well as in Queens and Manhattan. For more information, call 1-800-775-7784 or visit www.NSPC.com.