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"Breast Cancer Vaccine Trial May Blaze Trail To Stopping Cancer"

  • Healthline
  • New York, NY
  • (October 17, 2017)

Researchers are hoping that they’ll soon break ground in a new medical frontier - vaccines that can stop cancer. Currently, the only vaccine designed to prevent cancer is the HPV vaccine. However, that shot protects against the human papillomavirus that leads to cervical cancer, not the cancer itself. But a new study taking place at sites across the United States, including The Mount Sinai Hospital, is researching if a vaccine can be used to prime the immune system to fight cancer cells from developing into a tumor. In this trial, researchers are studying if a vaccine can help women who have already undergone treatment for nonmetastatic stage 4 breast cancer and are in remission. The trial is currently in the phase II stage. In this stage, researchers look for signs of the vaccine’s effectiveness. The team is focused on targeting a specific protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). The lead investigator, Amy Tiersten, MD, professor of medicine, hematology and medical oncology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and oncologist for the Breast Cancer Medical Oncology Program at the Dubin Breast Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, said they hope to find a way to help more women by combining Herceptin treatment and a vaccine derived from part of the HER2 protein. “There are many, many vaccine trials going on, it’s part of the revolution of immunotherapy,” she said. Now with the vaccine trial, Dr.  Tiersten and her patients hope to prove that manipulating the immune system to fight cancer with a vaccine will save lives.

- Amy Tiersten, MD, Professor, Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Oncologist, Breast Cancer Medical Oncology Program, Dubin Breast Center, The mount Sinai Hospital

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