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Sen. Edward Kennedy’s death two years ago from the deadly form of brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), refocused attention on how slowly treatments have progressed since former President Richard Nixon declared the war on cancer in 1971.

But a new form of treatment that goes beyond oncology drugs and surgery is now coming of age: cancer vaccines. At the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago — a major forum for cancer researchers — several companies and research groups reported progress on cancer vaccines, including a New England company with a shot for GBM.

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