Without clinical trials, we would be without medications that combat serious diseases. For women with HER-2 breast cancer, recent developments in biological drugs have greatly improved overall survivorship. A new clinical trial, one that is developing a vaccine to prevent the recurrence of HER-2 breast cancer is underway. ClinicalTrials.gov is where you should look for information on active clinical trials.
HER-2 breast cancer
About 25 percent of all breast cancer is HER-2 over expressed, sometimes referred to as HER-2 positive. All cells have HER-2 receptors. Breast cancer cells that are HER-2 over expressed have too many of these receptors. The result of this is that the breast cancer cells divide more rapidly than normal cells and the cancer spreads faster than other forms of breast cancer.
The HER-2 pulsed DC1 vaccine clinical trial is looking for women with HER-2 over expressed breast cancer. Not all women will qualify. You must be diagnosed with stage IIIa or later stage breast cancer. The goal of the clinical trials is to create a vaccine that will prevent the recurrence of HER-2 breast cancer in women. Applicants do not have to have recurring breast cancer in order to qualify.
According to the ClinicalTrials.gov website: “This trial will be determine the safety and immunogenicity of HER-2 pulsed DC1 vaccine in high risk HER-2 high and intermediate expression breast cancers. Subjects will have HER-2 driven IBC at least Stage IIIA with N2 following chemotherapy with/without trastuzumab or recurrence exclusive of new primary tumor but rendered NED. Mammogram, laboratory studies, CT, and leukapheresis will be performed, in addition to vaccine administration. “
A vaccine to prevent HER-2 breast cancers from recurring would save many lives. This particular type of breast cancer has been difficult to treat. It was not until the drug Herceptin was invented that HER-2 cancers were able to be controlled. Now, treatment with Herceptin and a newer drug Perjeta, are the standards for treating this type of cancer. A vaccine would bring treatment to the next level. It is desperately needed.
Lynda Altman was diagnosed with breast cancer in Nov. 2011. She is passionate about women’s health issues and helping all women get access to accurate healthcare information. Lynda writes a blog called Homeschooling When Mom has Cancer. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.