Split Immunity Research

Split Immunity Research

The brain has a special relationship with the immune system, the body’s natural defense against invaders: the strength in which the immune system reacts to immune challenges within the brain is usually less than that in the rest of the body. 

Joint research by Weizmann Institute of Science and Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center researchers has led to an innovative approach whereby injecting brain tumor cells outside the brain stimulates an immune system attack strong enough to affect even the brain.  In animals, such an attack prolonged animal survival and even induced complete brain tumor regression. 

Given the potential of this work for human brain cancer treatment, in February 2015, ABC2 funded a new clinical trial which is being conducted at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center to test this type of therapy in humans - termed Split Immunity. 

In a small, safety-focused trial, patients with glioblastoma will receive injections of irradiated and intact live tumor cells from their own brain tumors and then be monitored for immune activation and an anti tumor response.  If this approach will be successful, it could pave the way for future clinical studies to further enhance treatment efficacy.

The ABC2 grant is named in honor of Olga Levin, a promising young medical student at UCLA who passed away from brain cancer.


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