Was just listening to the health podcast on BFM the other day, and one of the topics aired ended up mentioning a vaccine to cure breast cancer. This totally peaked my curiosity. If this is true then we have the cure for breast cancer within our grasp – which presents hope for so many women out there. The race to cure cancer is currently taking many different routes. One of the interesting and potentially simplest may come in the form of a vaccine to cure breast cancer, which stimulates the body’s own immune system to protect itself from cancer cells.
photo credit – aslanmedia
In what’s being claimed a medical breakthrough , scientists say they have developed a vaccine to cure breast cancer, using a patient’s own cells. An international team from the University of Pennsylvania, USA, have tested this vaccine on women in a clinical trial with great success. 85% of these patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), the most common non-invasive form of the disease , have shown protection after four years. In this trial, 27 patients had their specialized white cells isolated, using standard techniques similar to blood donation.
The cells were manipulated in the laboratory to allow the immune system to recognize the cancerous cells as foreign and attack them. Each patient received four weekly injections of their personalized vaccine and had surgery two weeks later to remove any remaining disease. The scientists compared pre-vaccination samples with post-vaccination samples and found five patients, almost 20%, had no disease visible, indicating their immune system had wiped out the tumour. Of the remaining 22, damaging proteins had been eliminated in 11 and reduced by 20% or more in another two. There are ongoing trials to confirm this finding but signs are really positive at the moment. Basically, breast cancer vaccines are most effective for early, localized disease. source
If this becomes a reality there will be hope for breast cancer patients. Great news indeed. The findings have been published in the Journal of Immunotherapy.
To all my fellow women readers out there, I just want to say that whilst the prospect of a breast exam (mammogram) can evoke fear in of us, but getting your regular check-up and PAP Smear is an extremely important first step toward cancer detection and prevention. You should schedule to do both with your doctor on a regular basis. Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health. Clinical breast exam (CBE) about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over. For some women because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors, your doctor might suggest you be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms.