Hope over vac­cine for can­cer

NT News - - NEWS -

A VAC­CINE that treats one of the most com­mon forms of breast can­cer is be­ing de­vel­oped by an Aussie com­pany and one day it could be used to pre­vent can­cer.

The ther­apy stim­u­lates the body’s own im­mune sys­tem to fight the can­cer and stud­ies have showed it pro­duced im­proved sur­vival rates in mice.

The vac­cine will help the one in four women whose breast can­cer over-ex­presses the HER2 pro­tein as well as HER2 gas­tric can­cer pa­tients.

Over 1 mil­lion cases of gas­tric can­cer are di­ag­nosed each year, mostly in Asia, and the five-year sur­vival rate is just 30 per cent.

Tri­als in Europe have al­ready shown the vac­cine is safe and it is now be­ing tri­alled in Asia on gas­tric can­cer pa­tients.

While re­searchers hope it will help breast can­cer pa­tients they can’t trial it on these pa­tients in Aus­tralia yet.

This is be­cause stan­dard use of the ex­pen­sive drug Her­ceptin treat­ment here would con­flict with prov­ing the vac­cine works.

Med­i­cal Univer­sity of Vienna re­searcher Pro­fes­sor Ur­sula Wie­der­mann is the co-in­ven­tor of the HER-vaxx.

If the vac­cine works it would most likely be used in com­bi­na­tion with chemo­ther­apy, ra­di­a­tion and Her­ceptin to im­prove sur­vival, she said.

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