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Early-Stage Breast Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise

Posted on January 5, 2017 by Disability Help Group

Along with developing a cure, a major push in cancer research is to find vaccines against common cancers. Researchers at the Moffitt Cancer Center recently released new information on trials of their dendritic cell vaccine against early-stage breast cancer in Clinical Cancer Research.

The vaccine works with the HER2 protein, a protein heavily associated with breast cancer cells. Approximately 20 to 25 percent of all breast cancer tumors overexpress this protein, and it is predictive of aggressive disease and a poor prognosis.

The researchers tested the vaccine in 54 women with HER2-expressing early-stage breast cancer. To make the vaccines, researchers took dendritic cells from each patient to make a unique vaccine for each woman.

After the vaccination, 80 percent of evaluable patients showed an immune response in the peripheral blood or sentinel lymph nodes. These areas are prime targets for breast cancer to spread, so the results were critical to the vaccine’s success.

Researchers completed the vaccine trial with a surgical specimen analysis. Of the viable candidates, 13 women achieved a pathological complete response (pCR, also known as absence of disease). Women with early, non-invasive ductal carcinoma had a higher rate of pCR than women with early-stage invasive breast cancer.

With these findings, researchers hope to develop a clinically approved vaccination against the spread and progression of early-stage breast cancer.

Know Your Rights to Disability Benefits when Fighting Breast Cancer

Even though breast cancer is a common ailment and treatments are improving as time goes on, you should not ignore the damage this disease can do to your ability to work.

If you cannot work due to treatment or side effects of breast cancer, call the Disability Help Group at 800-800-2009 and speak with our disability advocates about your right to Social Security disability benefits.