Radiation Therapy Plus Temozolomide and Pembrolizumab With and Without HSPPC-96 in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma (GBM)

  • End date
    Jun 30, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Updated on 12 May 2021
platelet count
karnofsky performance status
neutrophil count
blood transfusion
brain tumor
carmustine implant
malignant brain tumor
stereotactic biopsy



GBM refers to a specific kind of brain cancer called glioblastoma. The standard treatment for GBM is radiation plus temozolomide, an oral chemotherapy drug. Pembrolizumab is an immune therapy that is now used to treat other cancers. The addition of pembrolizumab to the standard treatment of radiation and temozolomide has been shown to be well tolerated. Researchers want to see if adding a vaccine made from the person s own tumor will improve the effect of the pembrolizumab. The vaccine which is developed from fresh tumor taken at the time of surgery is called HSPPC-96.


To see if the adding pembrolizumab and HSPPC-96 improves the standard treatment for glioblastoma multiforme.


Adults at least 18 years old with glioblastoma.


Participants will be screened with typical cancer tests:

Brain scan

Medical history

Blood and urine tests

Questions about quality of life and symptoms

These tests will be repeated throughout the study.

Participants will have surgery to remove their tumor. A tissue sample from the tumor will be sent to a lab. A vaccine will be made from it.

Some participants will get pembrolizumab and vaccine. Some will get pembrolizumab and placebo. Participants will not know which they get.

Participants will get radiation for 6 weeks.

Participants will take temozolomide by mouth before each treatment.

Participants will get pembrolizumab by IV for 30 minutes 3 times over the radiation cycle.

Participants will keep taking the 2 drugs every few weeks for about a year. Some may take pembrolizumab for an additional year.

Most participants will get the vaccine or placebo after radiation. They will get it 5 times over 6 weeks. Some participants will continue to get the vaccine every few weeks for 1 or 2 years.

Participants will repeat the screening tests when they stop study treatment. They will also have follow-up phone calls.


  • Malignant gliomas are unfortunately, in most cases, a uniformly fatal tumor. Despite aggressive surgery, radiation treatment (RT) and chemotherapy at initial diagnosis these tumors almost always recur.
  • Many clinical trials in glioblastoma (GBM) have evaluated the addition of agent(s) to standard therapy which consists of concurrent radiation with temozolomide chemotherapy after maximal surgical resection in patients with newly diagnosed disease and salvage chemotherapy with either rechallenge with temozolomide or an alternative alkylating agent such as CCNU or cisplatin. To date, none of the combination strategies have demonstrated clinical benefit. Furthermore, in subjects with an unmethylated MGMT (O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase) promoter temozolomide has only modest benefit and salvage therapies have not demonstrated a significant impact in this subject group underscoring the need for more research.
  • Immunotherapy offers the promise of improving outcomes for patients with GBM by evoking specific immune responses that may produce a more sustained and less toxic effect than conventional therapy. Heat-shock proteins (HSPs), which function as intracellular chaperones, can be used to deliver a variety of tumor antigens to antigen presenting cells for immune stimulation.
  • Heat Shock Protein-Peptide Complex-96 (HSPPC-96) consists of the heat shock protein glycoprotein-96 (HSP gp-96) and a wide array of chaperoned proteins, including autologous antigenic peptides (aka vaccine ). Heat shock proteins (HSP) are molecules that respond to cellular stress and counteract abnormal protein folding. They are known to modulate immune responses, especially the HSP gp-96. In a stressful environment, such as a tumor, HSPs are upregulated and highly expressed on tumor cells. This protects the tumor and leads to resistance to therapy. HSP expression is associated with cellular proliferation, apoptosis evasion, tissue invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis.
  • Pembrolizumab is a potent and highly selective humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) of the IgG4/kappa isotype designed to directly block the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. Additionally, pembrolizumab is thought to also have activity in the peripherally circulating T-effector cells by reversing lymphocyte exhaustion. It is currently FDA approved for use in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression following ipilimumab and, if BRAF V600 mutation positive, a BRAF inhibitor and NSCLC with elevated PDL1 in the tumor. recurrent or metastatic HNSCC with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy. It is also FDA approved for with advanced (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has progressed after other treatments and with tumors that express a protein called PD-L1 and for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy
  • This study will be the first to evaluate this combination of vaccine (HSPPC-96) and PD- 1 inhibition (pembrolizumab) in newly diagnosed GBM patients whose tumors are MGMT promoter unmethylated and are isocytrate dehydrogenase (IDH) wildtype; and will provide important data on immune-modulatory effect of this combination. This may be of particular value in patients with high peripheral PD-L1 expression, but also the value of PD-1 added to standard GBM therapy. As vaccine needs to be generated from the patient s tumor, patients will need to be identified prior to surgery.
  • MRI findings consistent with a suspected GBM or histologically confirmed newly diagnosed GBM that has not been treated and would benefit from further surgical resection.
  • Tumor must be supratentorial.
  • GBM diagnosis must be made by surgical excision (stereotactic biopsy will not be allowed unless there is plan for second surgery to remove greater than or equal to 80 % of the tumor) and patients tumors must not have MGMT promoter methylation and must be IDH wildtype.
  • No prior treatment with radiation or chemotherapy for their GBM.
  • Age greater than or equal to 18 years on day of signing informed consent
  • The primary endpoint is to determine whether the one year overall survival (OS) rate is improved in newly diagnosed GBM patients whose tumors have an unmethylated MGMT promoter and are IDH wildtype treated with RT + TMZ + Pembrolizumab followed by TMZ + Pembrolizumab + HSPPC-96 vaccine or Placebo vaccine x 6 cycles (1 cycle is 9 weeks).
  • This will be a randomized, double blind phase II trial of surgery, RT + TMZ + Pembrolizumab followed by TMZ + Pembrolizumab +/- HSPPC-96 in newly diagnosed GBM patients whose tumors have an unmethylated MGMT promotor and are IDH wildtype.
  • Subjects will be assigned to intervention based on tumor resection and ability to generate vaccine as follows:
  • If < 80 % of tumor removed, <7 g of tumor is resected or HSPPC-96 cannot be generated, subjects will be treated on the ancillary cohort of RT+TMZ +Pembrolizumab followed by TMZ+ Pembrolizumab.
  • If greater than or equal to 80% of contrasting enhanced tumor removed (based on T1 Post contrast MRI using cross sectional measurement), greater than or equal to 7 g of tumor is resected and sufficient HSPPC-96 is generated, subjects will be included in the main cohort and will be randomized on a 1:1 basis to receive:
    1. RT+TMZ +Pembrolizumab followed by TMZ+Pembrolizumab + Placebo


2. RT+TMZ +Pembrolizumab followed by TMZ+Pembrolizumab+HSPPC-96

  • Approximately 8 potentially eligible patients are seen per month, and it is anticipated that at least 1-2 per month will be accrued per site.

Condition Glioblastoma Multiforme, glioblastoma
Treatment Placebo, Temozolomide, Pembrolizumab, HSPPC-96, radiation treatment
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03018288
SponsorNational Cancer Institute (NCI)
Last Modified on12 May 2021


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