A new study has been done on engineered mice to prevent breast cancer via an experimental vaccine. The new research by an Cleveland, OH immunologist at the Lerner Research Institute tested the vaccine against a protein, called alpha-lactalbumin, found on many breast cancer cells. Mice in the experiment had been genetically modified to lead them to develop breast cancer.
Though none of the 50 vaccinated mice developed cancer, all of the others did. This is good news and could be promising, although the vaccine has not been tested on humans. In the past, many breast cancer studies of mice have been promising, but a limited number have been successful in humans. According to Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, on average, only one out of every 250 drugs in lab studies or animal models get approved.
The study shows the protein is not found on normal breast cells, except when women are breast-feeding. Researchers are hopeful that the vaccine would not harm ordinary cells.
Other Medical experts suggest that testing may be difficult on humans because women at high risk of breast cancer have various options for prevention such as a mastectomy. Also, other high risk women can opt to take selected drugs to cut their risk.
Breast Cancer advocates advise women not to put all of their hope in the mouse vaccine because of the low success rate. However, new research and developments are showing that any thing is possible. We will keep tuned in to new updates on this research.