A Vaccine Against Breast and Ovarian Cancer Being Studied

Metastatic breast cancer and ovarian cancer respond to recombinant poxviral vaccine

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Won't it be just fantastic when a woman could be vaccinated against breast cancer and ovarian cancer? What a relief that will be! Well, scientists are getting closer to making this a reality.

Recent research demonstrated that a vaccine helped patients who had metastatic (has spread beyond original site) breast cancer and ovarian cancer. This was a recombinant poxviral vaccine that clearly generated immune response that led to positive clinical responses.

"Talk to your doctor about the latest advances in cancer."

Lead researcher James Gulley, M.D., Ph.D., director and deputy chief of the clinical trials group at the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute, led the study.

Dr. Gulley and colleagues worked with 26 metastatic cancer patients, who were given the PANVAC vaccine. These patients had already been treated, with 21 of them having gone through at least three previous rounds of chemotherapy.

The median time before the disease progressed was 2.5 months among the 12 patients with breast cancer, and the median overall survival time was nearly 14 months. Four of the breast cancer patients had stable disease, meaning it didn't progress.

One breast cancer patient had a sustained complete response.

Results were similar among the 14 ovarian cancer patients. Median time to disease progression was two months, and median overall survival time was 15 months.

Dr. Gulley says there's a great deal of interest in vaccines in the cancer community. He says that while additional study is needed, the results of this trial are encouraging, particularly with the sustained benefit demonstrated.

The study was published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 11, 2011
Last Updated:
November 14, 2011