Two years ago, Pfizer announced it had partnered with biotech company Celldex to develop a brain cancer vaccine. At the time, many people thought the move heralded the beginning of pharmaceutical companies developing personalized treatments for patients, says Robert Langreth on Forbes' Treatments blog. But now Pfizer has dissolved the partnership, leaving Celldex to try and develop the drug on its own. Instead of aiming broadly at tumors, the vaccine was supposed to be aimed at about 40 percent of brain glioblastoma patients, Langreth says. "Exactly why Pfizer dropped the vaccine is unclear," he adds. "Certainly a definitive trial would have been difficult to perform, and the odds of success are slim thanks to the aggressive nature of glioblastoma. The early trials of the vaccine all had no control group, making the seemingly good survival times reported difficult to interpret."
Personalized Medicine? Not Today
Sep 06, 2010