breast cancer vaccines, our best hope?

Though the sun shines bright with the heat wave covering southern California, a darkness hovers over the metastatic breast cancer community. We have too many suffering with difficult times, treatments failing and members dying. Where is that cure. We need research that will leap forward instead of twisting in circuitous paths that take years to progress.

Needing a lift of spirits today, I read an interesting article that well describes the research on vaccines in breast cancer. As you may recall, vaccines for breast cancer are receiving attention. The research is looking at two types of vaccine: one that prevents the disease completely and another that slows or stops the growth of tumors that already exist. So far, the studies are showing good results. This is refreshing and welcome news.

Of all the research now including PARP inhibitors, which recently had a setback when iniparib clinical studies failed to yield expected results (other inhibitors, however, are still under study and there is also talk of iniparib studies being redesigned), it seems that vaccines are showing the most promise, especially in terms of a timeline. Will it or any other research for a cure, for at least some subtypes of breast cancer, meet the deadline of January 2020 set by the National Breast Cancer Coalition? That is surely an open-ended question. Yet, it seems like today when so much bad news clouds the air, reading about research that holds promise pricks, at least, a pinhole of hope in the darkness.

Tomorrow morning when you awake, please pause in recognition of Metastatic Breast Cancer Day and and offer a moment of silence for all the members of our  community who have danced into the light. We cry many tears for our online friends, many of whom we never meet face to face, but love no less.

Daily dose of awareness

Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is another subtype of breast cancer. This subtype has no receptors for estrogen, progesterone or HER2, which often look like this on a report: ER/PR- HER2-. TNBC is aggressive and more prevalent in women who are diagnosed at an early age or who have an African-American background. Often BRCA1 mutations are also common in patients who are diagnosed with TNBC. The difficulty in treating TNBC is that none of the treatments outside chemotherapy affect it; in other words, the arsenal is smaller and does not include hormonal or Herceptin® (trastuzumab). On the positive side chemotherapy can be very effective in treating TNBC.

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© 2004–2011 Donna Peach. All rights reserved.

One response to “breast cancer vaccines, our best hope?

  1. There is much hope. I was fortunate enough to get a breast cancer vaccine in a clinical trial. I work to help fund the research so that all cancer patients will have the chance to be as lucky as me. They WILL solve this problem, it is just matter of time and money. Pray it is soon.

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