Sunday, November 17, 2013

Breast Cancer VACCINE!

Approximately one in eight (1 in 8) women will battle breast cancer.  This number is higher if you have a family history of breast cancer.   BRCA is a gene mutation that greatly increases a woman's chance of getting breast cancer (as well as other cancers including cervical and ovarian).   If you carry the gene, you can pass it on to your children--as can fathers.  (Note: this is the same mutation that caused Angelina Jolie to undergo a preventative mastectomy.)
Sadly, I'm somewhat familiar with this gene, as it runs in my husband's family. His mother had breast cancer, as well as his grandmother and thirty-year-old cousin (passed through her father).  His aunt had cervical cancer.   All are survivors except for his grandmother.  My nieces and two daughters are at risk.   Eventually we will have them tested for the gene.

However, a wonderful new opportunity may be available for women in the future, including BRCA carriers.   Dr. Vincent Tuohy (PhD), and his colleagues at the Cleveland Clinic are working on a vaccine that has shown promise against breast cancer in mice.  In addition to successfully reducing existing tumors in the mice, the vaccine appears to prevent the mice from getting breast cancer in the first place--including BRCA mice!

The vaccine probably won't be available to the public for another ten years.   Still, it's an incredible step toward these awful disease.  Even more exciting, this study could lead to protection against other forms of cancer.   

See the links below for information on the vaccine, as well as links to BRCA information and gene testing.

Breast Cancer Vaccine Cleveland Clinic
Prevention article on vaccine
BRCA information and gene testing

There is also a vaccine (NeuVax) that has successfully prevented the recurrence of breast cancer in survivors during trial phases.

NeuVax vaccine for breast cancer survivors

'Renew' receives no compensation from these links.

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