September 15, 2008
Breast Cancer Vaccine Kills Tumors in Mice
Wayne State University researchers say a breast cancer vaccine completely eliminated HER2-positive tumors in mice -- without any toxicity.
The study, published in the journal Cancer Research, suggests the vaccine could treat women with HER2-positive, treatment-resistant cancer or help prevent cancer recurrence. The researchers also say it might potentially be used in cancer-free women to prevent initial development of these tumors.
Therapies such as trastuzumab and lapatinib, designed to latch on to these receptors and destroy them, are a mainstay of treatment for this cancer, but a significant proportion of patients develop a resistance to them or cancer metastasis that is hard to treat.
"The immune response against HER2-positive receptors we saw in this study is powerful, and works even in tumors that are resistant to current therapies," lead investigator Wei-Zen Wei says in a statement.
"The vaccine could potentially eliminate the need to even use these therapies."