News In Brief

Breast cancer vaccine shows promise

Daryl Paranada May 31, 2010

American scientists say they have developed a vaccine that has prevented breast cancer from developing in mice. Their findings are published in the journal Nature Medicine. Researchers say they play to now conduct trials of the drug in humans.

From the BBC:

In the study, genetically cancer-prone mice were vaccinated — half with a vaccine containing á-lactalbumin and half with a vaccine that did not contain the antigen. None of the mice vaccinated with á-lactalbumin developed breast cancer, while all of the other mice did.

Still, it may be years before the vaccine is available widely. And some are cautious about whether the vaccine will work on humans. A headline from the U.K.’s Times Online reads: “The breast cancer vaccine is great news — for mice.”

The article’s author writes: “While this new research is exciting, it requires a giant leap from identifying an approach that prevents breast cancer in mice genetically prone to the disease, to a human vaccine that offers similar protection to most women. Human trials haven’t even started yet and it will probably be a decade or more before anything useful comes out of them, even if they live up to the initial hype.”

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