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10 Years of SurVaxM

Drs hold up a vile containing SurVaXm

Empire State Ride Reflects on 10 Years of SurVaxM on the Event's 10th Anniversary

In 10 short years, donor support helped bring a homegrown cancer-fighting discovery to the national stage in the form of a clinical trial. SurVaxM, a therapeutic cancer vaccine developed at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, has the potential to drastically extend the lives of patients living with brain cancerYou and your donors are part of that.

SurVaxM was created in a lab at Roswell Park by Robert Fenstermaker, MD, Chair of Neurosurgery and Michael Ciesielski, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery. Dr. Fenstermaker is the Principal Investigator of the nationwide randomized trial and Dr. Ciesielski is CEO of MimiVax, the company which now produces SurVaxM. Their work has been passionately supported by donor funding for the past 10 years, proving instrumental in bringing this new treatment to where it is today.

Here’s how it all went down:


Roswell Park announces a new clinical research study that could put cancer cells “in a Catch-22.”


A phase I clinical trial begins in human patients, supported by the American Cancer Society.


Roswell Park donors begin to financially support SurVaxM alongside the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation through events like Empire State Ride and more.

Drs. Ciesielski and Fenstermaker


Drs. Fenstermaker and Ciesielski present their phase I clinical trial results to the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Phase II of the clinical trial begins, bringing hope to 50 newly diagnosed patients at Roswell Park and Cleveland Clinic.


Experts investigate usefulness of SurVaxM for patients with multiple myeloma.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) awards orphan drug status for SurVaxM. This designation is intended to encourage innovation in the treatment of rare diseases.


Findings through SurVaxM trials open
doors for other types of treatments like CAR T-cell therapy
antibody-based therapies.

Drs. Fenstermaker and
Ciesielski join their colleagues at Cleveland Clinic to present their phase II findings so far at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago.

Results from phase II clinical trial show significant success: well-tolerated; 96.7% of patients did not experience disease progression within the first six months; 94.2% of study participants were alive one year after their diagnosis, as opposed to 65% of patients in a historical comparison group.


Drs hold up a vile containing SurVaXm


Trial leaders bring fully completed results to the ASCO Annual Meeting.


Two new studies, led by Renuka Iyer, MD, of Roswell Park, explore the potential use of SurVaxM for patients with neuroendocrine tumors.

Dr. Renuka Iyer, MD


Roswell Park becomes the first center to treat newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients in the phase 2B randomized clinical trial.

Dr. Ciesielski returns to ASCO to present the final data from phase 2A as phase 2B kicks off.

Roswell Park is the first of several sites to offer a SurVaxM pilot study for pediatric patients in conjunction with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium.

Results demonstrating safety and extended survival are published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


The FDA grants Fast Track Designation for SurVaxM, opening doors to accelerated approval as late-stage clinical trials advance.


You fundraise for Empire State Ride, armed with the confidence that your hard work is propelling something meaningful on a national scale.

You make a difference!

Check Out SurVaxM Coverage through the Years