BREAST CANCER VACCINE AND DRUGS
ANCHOR LEAD: A NOVEL BREAST CANCER VACCINE MAY WORK BEST IN COMBINATION WITH CHEMOTHERAPY DRUGS, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Using a breast cancer vaccine in combination with one of two standard chemotherapy drugs enables the vaccine to work even better, a Johns Hopkins study has shown. Leisha Emens, the study’s lead investigator, describes the strategy.
EMENS: We tested the vaccine in combination with low doses of two chemotherapy drugs: cyclophosphamide and doxyrubicin, and we found that the lowest dose of cyclophosphamide that we tested can enhance the immune response induced by the vaccine. So the vaccine by itself can induce a certain level of immunity, and adding cyclophosphamide a day prior to the vaccine can induce a higher level of that immunity, and the doxyrubicin seems to help as well. We know that if we go just a little bit higher than that low dose, vaccine activity is inhibited, so the dose of the drugs that you combine with it is actually quite critical. :33
Emens says the current vaccine is being tested in women with advanced disease, but that the ideal would be prevention. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.