The discovery that immunotherapy is a clinically-relevant approach for the treatment of malignant tumors is revolutionizing patient care. In adults diagnosed with glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive and incurable primary brain tumor, autologous HSPPC-96 vaccination provides a significant increase in overall survival. However, all GBM patients eventually succumb to their disease, providing rationale for discovering new methods that proactively identify individuals that will respond, optimally. Of the immunosuppressive mediators that contribute to the inhibition of productive tumor immunity, indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), a rate-limiting enzyme that catabolizes tryptophan (Trp) into kynurenine (Kyn), has been demonstrated to be expressed at elevated levels in patients with malignant glioma. Recently, our group determined that a correlation exists between peripheral blood Trp and Kyn levels in GBM patients and the association with overall survival after HSPPC-96 treatment. Our findings indicate that the Kyn/Trp ratio may be a useful benchmark for identifying GBM patients with a higher likelihood to survive longer after vaccination. The relevance to future clinical trials, the limitations of brain tumor models to address these findings and the role of IDO1 versus tryptophan dioxygenase (TDO) in the maintenance of peripheral Trp and Kyn levels, is discussed.