Breast Cancer Vaccine Passes First Human Trials by Safely Generating Anti-Tumor Immunity

By: | November 12th, 2022

Image Credit: Pixabay

Results of the Phase I breast cancer vaccine trial has been published in the journal JAMA Oncology. The cancer vaccine was found to be very safe and highly effective. 

Breast cancer is one of the deadliest cancers

According to the WHO report, at present, over seven million women suffer from breast cancer. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates, in the US alone 43,550 female and 530 male patients could die because of breast cancer.

An experimental vaccine safely generated a strong immune response to a key tumor protein

A protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is found on the surface of many cells. About 30% of breast cancers entail the overproduction of this protein.

The phase I trial aimed at assessing the safety of the vaccine and also checking if it generated an immune response to the protein.

“The results showed that the vaccine was very safe,” said the lead author of the new study Mary Disis. “In fact, the most common side effects that we saw in about half the patients were very similar to what you see with COVID vaccines: redness and swelling at the injection site and maybe some fever, chills and flu-like symptoms.”

Now Phase II of the trial is going to begin in the “next few months to examine if the vaccine improves the efficacy of preoperative chemotherapy.” 

“If the results of the new randomized-controlled Phase 2 trial of the vaccine are positive, it will be a strong signal for us to rapidly move forward to a definitive phase III trial,” Disis added. “I have high hopes that we’re close to having a vaccine that can effectively treat patients with breast cancer.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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