Personalized vaccines for a type of brain cancer mounted an immune system response against the tumors in a small number of patients, according to data from two new studies, an early indication that immunotherapy might hold some promise for targeting the difficult-to-treat cancers.

The studies, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, underscore how wily glioblastoma, or GBM, is in evading attacks by the immune system on tumors: The patients did not see the course of their disease change, and even patients who generated an immune response died from their cancers.

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