REAST CANCER VACCINE
ANCHOR LEAD: A NOVEL VACCINE STRATEGY UNDER DEVELOPMENT AT JOHNS HOPKINS AGAINST BREAST CANCER IS STARTING TO BRING RESULTS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Vaccines against cancer have always been an attractive idea. Now a vaccine against breast cancer is beginning to look like it may really help. Leisha Emens, study investigator and a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the approach.
EMENS: We actually teach the patient’s own body to become engaged in the fight against their own cancer in re-educating their immune system to recognize subtle changes in cancers as potentially dangerous and to become activated and then seek out and destroy the cancer cells. The neat thing about the immune system is that it can remember, and this is very different from other therapies where you have to keep giving the therapy multiple times. Because the immune system has this ability to remember if the disease goes into remission and then trouble starts to brew again somewhere, the immune system has the potential to become reactivated, to seek out and destroy that trouble. :33
The vaccine itself is administered with an injection under the skin, which alerts sentinel cells of the immune system. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.