Most triple negative breast cancers carry a protein called MUC-1, say researchers at
the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland., and this could lead to the development of a vaccine for early stage TNBC.
Doctors analyzed 53 triple negative tumors and found that 92 percent of them expressed MUC-1, a protein in breast cancer cells could be a target for a vaccine using the patient's immune system to target and kill cancer cells.
Researchers are now testing a vaccine to fight MUC-1 and, therefore triple negative.
If it succeeds, subsequent research would study the effects of the vaccine on relapse-free survival rates. The vaccine is given after traditional treatment of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.
"This vaccine trial has the potential to rev up patients' immune response to the MUC-1 protein and shut down the tumor's ability to grow," says MD, PhD, chief researcher and director of Breast Cancer Research at the Ireland Cancer Center. "Women with this aggressive triple negative breast cancer have an increased risk of recurrence and we are hoping to provide them with protection against the return of this deadly disease."