Breast Cancer Vaccine Found to be Effective in Preliminary Trial

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 04, 2014

The trial for a breast cancer vaccine, which was developed at Washington’s University’s School of Medicine, showed positive results in patients suffering from the disease. The results of the study were published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Breast Cancer VaccineIn this study, 14 patients suffering from metastatic breast cancer and expressed mammaglobin-A were given the vaccine. The authors told that the patients experienced side effects, reporting eight events classified as mild or moderate, including rash, tenderness at the vaccination site and mild flu-like symptoms. However, no severe or life-threatening side-effects were seen.

The initial evidence showed that vaccine primed the patients’ immune system to attack the tumour cells and slowed down the progression of cancer. The new vaccine makes the body’s immune system to home in on a protein called mammaglobin-A which mostly exclusively found in the breast tissue.

Senior author and professor of surgery, William E. Gillanders said ‘this means we could treat a large number of breast cancer patients with potentially fewer side effects’. According to the preliminary evidence, the vaccine slowed down the progression of cancer, even in patients who had less potent immune system because of their advanced disease and exposure to chemotherapy.

Gillanders said ‘despite the weakened immune systems in these patients, we did observe a biologic response to the vaccine while analysing immune cells in their blood samples’.

A larger clinical trial to test the vaccine in newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients is being planned by Gillanders and his colleagues.

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