A recent study performed on mice has offered hope that a vaccine to prevent breast cancer may be a distinct possibility. Scientists are hopeful that this vaccine may be able to work in the same way that we routinely use vaccines to prevent childhood diseases and human trials could be possible as early as next year.
According to Vincent Tuohy, an immunologist in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, this is tremendously significant and that if it is seen to work in human beings the same way that it has in rodents, then it may be possible to “eliminate breast cancer”!
In the study, mice were genetically altered to develop a predisposition or an increased susceptibility to cancer. They were then given a vaccine made of an anti cancer antigen.
The mice that had been given the vaccine did not get the cancer, whereas the mice that did not get the vaccine were seen to develop it.
As of now researchers think that the vaccine will be restricted to women over 40 since it can interfere with breast feeding and can also reduce fertility. Also chances of developing breast cancer are much higher in women over the age of 40.