Breast Cancer Vaccine Successfully Treats Deadlier Form Of Disease

Armen Hareyan's picture

Newly developed vaccine successfully treats breast cancer in a clinical trial and shows promising results even for those suffering from a more aggressive form of the disease.

The new breast cancer vaccine is called NeuVax and is developed by Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Researchers tested the vaccine on 163 patients with both HER-2 protein and non-protein cancers.


>From about 25 to 30% of breast cancer sufferers have tumors with high levels of protein called HER-2. About 1/4 of all breast cancer patients have this form of the disease, which is progressing more aggressively, survival rates are lower, and the disease has higher risk for recurrence compared to non-protein cancers.

Most of women are currently treated with Herceptin (trastuzumab), but survival rate is low and recurrence rate is high for women with HER-2 form of breast cancer.

The 30 month trial showed 100% survival rates in women with non-protein form of breast cancer and 50% survival rates in women with HER-2 form of the disease. The recurrence risk was also lowered: it was 10.7% among those taking NeuVax compared to 18.2% who didn't get vaccinated.

The trial is yet small to estimate the effectiveness of new breast cancer vaccine NeuVax, but new trials will come later involving more patients with both protein and non-protein forms of breast cancer to prove effectiveness and safety of the vaccine.