New vaccine/chemo combo effective in cancer study

New trial data shows that the combination of a chemotherapy drug and a new vaccine significantly prolonged the survival of patients with glioblastoma, the aggressive brain cancer that now afflicts Senator Ted Kennedy. The therapy is the brainchild of Houston neurosurgeon Samuel Hassenbusch, who became the first of 23 patients to enroll in the study after he was diagnosed with the disease. He died earlier this year.

In a surprise, the researchers found that the chemotherapy did not interfere with the vaccine. In fact, the chemotherapy evidently enhanced the vaccine's effect.

"I'm biased, but this is some of the best data we've ever seen," Duke University neurosurgean Dr. John Sampson told the Houston Chronicle. "It appears very promising for a cancer where there's been little hope."

- read the article in the Houston Chronicle