Hope over vaccine for cancer
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.