Will breast cancer rates drop dramatically as the next decade winds down due to a preventive vaccine against breast cancer created at the Cleveland Clinic? Thus far the vaccine has only been tested in mice, where it was quite effective. Hopes are high that upcoming trials in women will show the same strong success in preventing and treating breast cancer.
If the vaccine is helpful in lowering breast cancer rates up to over 50% as hoped, what an amazing breakthrough in medicine that would be. Trials that are promising in mice do not always achieve that same success in humans. So let’s hope the upcoming trials go well and the world will be graced with a vaccine to prevent breast cancer.
Hope for a Medical Miracle at the Cleveland Clinic
Dr. Vincent Tuohy, Dr. Jaini Ritika Jenkins, et al of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, have created a vaccine to prevent breast tumors and treat breast tumors that already exist. This potential breast cancer vaccine destroys alpha-lactalbumin in the body. This auto-antigen is found in breast tumors.
The Nature Medicine journal reports that mice who did not get the vaccine were found to grow breast cancers by the age of 10 months. Mice who got the vaccine stayed clear of cancer.
The vaccine would not damage healthy cells. It would only impact diseased cells. It would not cause systemic problems the way current chemotherapy treatments for cancer do.
It thus blocks breast tumors from arising and also decreases the size of current tumors in the breast. Dr. Tuohy stated “We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases,” reports the Daily Mail.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have already been working on the vaccine for about 8 years. It may take up to another 10 years to conduct large-scale studies on women to test the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Vaccine for Use After Child Bearing Years
This vaccine would be used by women who are past the child bearing years. It would not be safe for women who are lactating or expect to breast feed a child.
For women who have breast cancer in the family or who have already experienced breast cancer, news of this vaccine under development may provide some hope that breast cancer will not arise or return to wreak havoc in their lives.
The vaccine, in development at the Cleveland Clinic, is the result of American government funded cancer research programs. Let’s hope the scientists developing this vaccine are able to successfully develop a marketable product that will save lives all over the world.