Breast cancer vax could protect women from their 40s

Cleveland Clinic star investigator Dr. Vincent Tuohy is scouting for $16 million to help fund human trials of an experimental breast cancer vaccine designed to stop cancer from ever developing as a woman ages.

With Dendreon's Provenge putting a spotlight on new therapeutic cancer vaccines, Tuohy wants to create a vaccine that works the way childhood vaccines do; protecting women from a lethal and all-too-common disease. He's doing it by targeting a protein that appears in women's breasts only when they are nursing or have breast cancer. And by targeting women in their 40s, Tuohy believes he can save lives at an opportune moment without preventing women from nursing during their child-bearing years.

"This could spearhead an adult vaccine program to protect us as adults against adult diseases, as we were against childhood diseases," Tuohy told the Chicago Tribune. The investigator is hoping to get the funds he needs from the NIH and non-profits that support cancer research.

Tuohy has already experienced marked success in animal studies. In a preclinical study the vaccine was able to protect mice which had been engineered to develop breast cancer. All of the mice which were not vaccinated developed cancer.

- here's the story from the Chicago Tribune