Vaccine to Treat Breast, Ovarian Cancers Shows Promise


November 15, 2011

USA Today

A vaccine that coaxes the body to attack tumor cells has shown promise in a small study of advanced breast and ovarian cancer patients, improving overall survival times and stopping the disease for a handful of breast cancer patients.

The PANVAC vaccine, administered to 26 women through monthly shots, helped the body's immune system recognize proteins produced specifically by cancer cells, said study author Dr. James Gulley, director and deputy chief of the clinical trials group at the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

All of the women had breast or ovarian cancer that had spread to other organs and were considered "heavily pre-treated" with other therapies, with 21 having received at least three chemotherapy regimens. In addition to the four breast cancer patients whose disease stopped progressing, one woman with breast cancer experienced a "complete response," meaning her cancer disappeared... Read More