Study shows small hope of vaccine for breast and ovarian cancers
Nov 9, 2011
A new study conducted by researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute found that a vaccine, which pushes the body to attack tumor cells, showed improvements in a small group of subjects.
The PANVAC vaccine was given to 26 women, and they showed improvements since they started to receive the vaccine, which was administered monthly. It is also believed that this can be widely used for patients who were recently diagnosed.
"That's exactly what I'd like to eventually see - the vaccine used earlier in the disease process before other [toxic drugs] that can damage the immune system," said lead author of the study Dr. James Gulley. "I think it makes more sense, when the immune system is more likely to overcome a lower tumor burden. Until recently we haven't seen a lot of substantial clinical impact of vaccines .. I think this gives us a better level of confidence."
According to the American Cancer Society, this disease is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women, following only lung cancer. However, the death rate has been decreasing since 1990 due to advancements in research and breakthrough breast cancer news. There are currently 2.5 millions survivors in the U.S.