Test vaccine aimed at breast-cancer’s recurrence


January 31, 2018

Test vaccine aimed at breast-cancer’s recurrence

UW Medicine researchers hope to harness patients' immune systems.

One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.  For women who survive, there’s always concern about the cancer coming back. In fact, research in 2017 showed that the disease can re-emerge 15 years after a breast-cancer patient has been told that cancer is undetectable in their bodies. 

Scientists at UW Medicine in Seattle are developing a new vaccine to try to stop such recurrences.

“We’re immunizing people who have already had cancer to get their immune response up and prevent the cancer from recurring,” said Dr. Mary Disis, who directs the Cancer Vaccine Institute at the University of Washington. 

She is involved in multiple clinical trials to develop breast cancer vaccines.  "We're really looking for women who have had either triple-negative breast cancer ... or they have hormone-positive receptor breast cancer that is HER2/Neu negative," Disis said. 

An vaccine found to be effective also could be offered to people who have a genetically higher risk for breast cancer.

Access downloadable video with interviews of Dr. Disis and Kristi Blair, a patient in one of the trials. The video is available in web and broadcast formats, and accompanied by a script for broadcasters.