A first-of-its-kind vaccine to prevent breast cancer has shown overwhelmingly favorable results in animal models, according to a study by researchers at Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute. The researchers found that a single vaccination with the antigen alpha-lactalbumin prevents breast cancer tumors from forming in mice, while also inhibiting the growth of already existing tumors. Human trials could begin within the next year. If successful, it would be the first vaccine to prevent breast cancer. The research will be published in the journal Nature Medicine.
"We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines prevent polio and measles in children," said Vincent Tuohy, Ph.D., the study's principal investigator and an immunologist in Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute Department of Immunology. "If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental. We could eliminate breast cancer."
In the study, genetically cancer-prone mice were vaccinated - half with a vaccine containing alpha-lactalbumin and half with a vaccine that did not contain the antigen. None of the mice vaccinated with alpha-lactalbumin developed breast cancer, while all of the other mice did. Continue at PhysiciansNews.com.