Vaccine for triple-negative breast cancer begins testing

Morning In America

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The Cleveland Clinic announced Tuesday researchers are launching a breast cancer vaccine study aimed at preventing triple-negative breast cancer — the most aggressive and deadly form of the disease.

About 15-20% of breast cancer are diagnosed as triple-negative. This form of the disease typically doesn’t respond to hormonal or targeted therapies.

“Phase I of the trial is designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose of the vaccine in patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer and to characterize and optimize the body’s immune response,” according to a press release from the Cleveland Clinic.

About 18-24 patients diagnosed with this highly aggressive form of the disease are expected to participate in the trial. Each patient will receive three doses of the vaccine two weeks apart.

Dr. Vincent Tuohy, an Immunologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Learner Research Institute, is one of the primary researchers working on the clinical trial.

“At a time when adults face breast cancer and prostate cancer and all sorts of other diseases — these are killer diseases. And I’m hoping we could develop a program that extends from the 20th-century childhood vaccine program to a 21st-century program vaccine,” Tuohy said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America” Wednesday.

Researchers will study how patients respond to the treatment.

“We’re going to start with that population and keep plugging away until we can prevent as many forms of breast cancer as possible, but right now, that’s a good start to try and prevent the most aggressive form in the patient population that has the greatest need for such a vaccine,” said Tuohy, who’s also one of the primary researchers working on the clinical trial.

The study is slated to be completed by September 2022.

Watch the full interview in the media player above.

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