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Rapid Immunoassay to detect anti-EGFRviii Levels in Serum

Value Proposition
Cancer has a major impact on society in the U.S. and across the world. In 2016, approximately 1.7M new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the U.S. and more than half a million individuals died from the disease. Current methods for treating cancer, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy often lack effectiveness and cause undesirable side effects. A type of therapy that could mitigate these issues is vaccination based, with the North American market for cancer vaccines expected to grow from $1.7B in 2016 to $1.9B in 2021. Specifically, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-targeted vaccination therapies have recently become of interest in cancer treatments, especially for glioblastoma multiforme. Consequently, better methods are needed to evaluate tumor burden and an antibody response to a peptide vaccination against EGFRvIII in humans during the course of treatment.

The EGFR gene is amplified and overexpressed most commonly in malignant human gliomas. The National Cancer Institute estimates the incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) to be 23,000, of which 15,000 result in death each year. GBM is thus the most lethal of all brain tumors and accounts for approximately 17% of all tumors seen in the brain. The prevalence of GBM is unknown, but is low due to its quick lethality (i.e. ~70% of cases diagnosed die within a year). The current invention provides a novel method to rapidly screen for anti-EGFRvIII antibodies in human blood to detect EGFRvIII-expressing tumors and immune responses following immunization with an EGFRvIII-derived therapeutic. This technology could therefore be effectively used to select peptide vaccines, guide their modification and formulation, and monitor clinical responsiveness and booster immunizations.


  • Rapid immunoassay to detect anti-EGRFvIII levels in human blood.
  • A quick and useful indicator of vaccine efficiency against EGFRvIII-expressing tumors.

Intellectual Property

  • US Patent No.: 8,900,816
  • Schmittling et al., 2008. J Immunol Methods. 30;339(1):74-81
  • Sampson et al., 2011. Neuro Oncol. 13(3):324-33.
  • Sampson et al., 2014. Clin Cancer Res. 15;20(4):972-84.

Inventor details
Robert Schmittling, Associate in research, Neurosurgery, Duke University School of Medicine

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Schmittling, Robert
  • Archer, Gerald
  • Sampson, John

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School of Medicine (SOM)