2014 Breast Cancer Vaccine shows promise in small clinical trial

A breast cancer vaccine designed by researchers at WUSTL is safe in patients with metastatic breast cancer

Credit: Robert Boston
A breast cancer vaccine designed by researchers at WUSTL is safe in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Preliminary evidence from the small clinical trial, led by William Gillanders, MD, also suggests the vaccine helped slow the cancer’s progression.

A breast cancer vaccine developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is safe in patients with metastatic breast cancer, results of an early clinical trial indicate. Preliminary evidence also suggests that the vaccine primed the patients’ immune systems to attack tumor cells and helped slow the cancer’s progression.

The new vaccine causes the body’s immune system to home in on a protein called mammaglobin-A, found almost exclusively in breast tissue. The protein’s role in healthy tissue is unclear, but breast tumors express it at abnormally high levels, past research has shown.

Sources and more information:

  • Breast cancer vaccine shows promise in small clinical trial, WUSTLnews, December 1, 2014.
  • Safety and Preliminary Evidence of Biologic Efficacy of a Mammaglobin-A DNA Vaccine in Patients with Stable Metastatic Breast Cancer, Clinical Cancer Research, December 1, 2014 20:5964-5975.

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