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Breast Cancer Vaccine Promising

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A vaccine for breast cancer?  It’s true, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic are testing a breast cancer vaccine that purportedly helps the immune system attack a specific protein found in most breast cancer cells and the breast tissue of lactating women.

In the first set of tests, researchers injected mice that had been specifically bred to develop breast cancer with the vaccine. None of the mice developed breast cancer.

Simultaneously, the researchers injected an equal number of breast cancer prone mice with a placebo;all of the mice eventually developed tumors.

Fox News quoted Dr. Vincent Tuohy, the lead in the research, as saying, “If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental,” he said.

He went on to say, “We could eliminate breast cancer. We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases.”

Should the vaccine become available, women over forty, the age when breast cancer risk increases, could potentially be immunized against the disease.

In December of 2008, Merck and Co. obtained permission from the FDA to market Garasil, a vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer by targeting the human papillomavirus, which causes 70% of all cervical cancers in women.

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