by Vera Viner
Have you seen breast cancer try to take your life and those around you? Have you feared that your daughter, mother, wife, or sister may be diagnosed with this disease? Wouldn’t you do anything you could to prevent breast cancer from taking the lives of your loved ones?
As luck would have it, there might be something in the works right now that could potentially prevent breast cancer in 95 percent of cases. That’s right, 95 percent! Dr. Vincent Tuohy of the Cleveland Clinic and his team designed a breast cancer vaccine. The vaccine was found to prevent the disease in 100 percent of the mice tested.
Dr. Vincent Tuohy
The original research including animal models was published in the Nature Medicine journal in June 2010. Tuohy’s team from the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute used the compound alpha-lactalbumin as the main property of the breast cancer vaccine. It was found to both prevent tumor formation AND slow down the growth of existing tumors.
Essentially, the study used a control group of mice that were injected with a vaccine without alpha-lactalbumin and an experimental group that was injected with a vaccine containing the relevant compound. All of the mice in the experimental group did not develop breast cancer despite the fact that both groups of mice were genetically predisposed to the disease. The mice in the control group did develop tumors.
“We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases,” Dr. Vincent Tuohy stated in a press release. “If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental. We could eliminate breast cancer.”
The next steps in this research were clear: find the funding necessary to begin Phase I trials to determine whether the vaccine is safe to use in women. While it was definitely an uphill battle and many common revenue streams for this innovative research declined to help, Dr. Vincent Tuohy was able to gather enough funding to begin the next stage of clinical study at the end of 2013. While the Susan G. Komen Foundation and some other organizations refused funding, there were some smaller grassroots campaigns that helped push forward this research. For instance, Brakes for Breast Cancer, a nonprofit dependent on the proceedings from a handful of auto repair shops, presented Dr. Tuohy with a check for $32,848.84 in February of 2013.
Cleveland Clinic Innovations has created a spin-off company after securing all of the funding called Shield Biotech. The company will continue to improve upon the preventive breast cancer vaccine. Shield Biotech will be finishing preclinical development and seeking FDA permission to begin testing the vaccine as an investigational new drug in human clinical trials.
Phase I clinical trials are expected to begin within the next two years. It will take approximately three years to complete Phase I studies. The Phase IA trial will follow patients with triple-negative breast cancer who have undergone surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation treatment.
During this trial, the researchers will be determining the proper dosage and frequency of the vaccine necessary to ensure the highest immune response for preventing breast cancer development.
Phase IB trials will follow the reactions to the vaccine in healthy women who are at high risk for breast cancer and have chosen to undergo bilateral mastectomy to lower their risk. In this trial, the breast tissue specifically will be studied to determine how the vaccine affects the cancer-free cells.
These initial trials are meant to establish the safety of the vaccine and find the best immune response with regard to dosage. Patients will begin enrollment in the trial starting in 2015.
If you hope to help put a stop to breast cancer and ensure future generations of women do not need to suffer through this disease, please support Dr. Vincent Tuohy’s research on the first preventive breast cancer vaccine.
If you would like to read more about this vaccine click HERE for an article from cleveland.com
Vera Viner is experienced in social media marketing, blog writing, email marketing, and healthcare writing and editing. She is a co-author of a blog that won the “Empowered Doctor Top Cancer Blog” recognition. She has also written an ebook called “The Pure Cure: Cancer Prevention at its Best.” Through proper online channels, Vera gained a following of more than 2,000 businesses and individuals for the Breast Health and Healing Foundation and was able to quadruple the following of an additional client. If you’d like to contact the author, her email is email@example.com.