News You Can Use
her-2 vaccine on the horizon
Breast cancer patients who thought vaccinations ended in childhood with a bandage and a lollipop may be revisiting the experience in the future. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, are testing a special vaccine that, early evidence shows, may slow tumor growth in women with advanced, Her-2 positive breast cancer.
Results of a phase 1 trial with 18 patients showed that the vaccine, called Neuvenge, has potential. One patient experienced shrinkage in a tumor in her neck, and three had no tumor growth for a year or more.
To create the vaccine, researchers manipulated immune cells from each patient, in the lab, so they would better recognize and destroy the Her-2 receptor, then infused them back into the patient. “We’re trying to get the immune system to do a better job,” says lead investigator John Park, M.D.