Researchers at Cleveland Clinic have opened a study for a vaccine seeking to prevent triple-negative breast cancer, which is regarded as the strongest and most deadly form of the disease.
The first phase of the trial will determine how strong of a vaccine dose patients with early-stage triple-negative breast cancer can tolerate, according to a release from the clinic.
“We are hopeful that this research will lead to more advanced trials to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine against this highly aggressive type of breast cancer,” G. Thomas Budd, who serves as the study's principal investigator, said in the statement.
Triple-negative breast cancer does not usually respond to hormonal or targeted therapies. It accounts for only about 12 to 15 percent of all breast cancers but causes a disproportionately high percentage of breast cancer-related deaths, the clinic's release added.
“This vaccine approach represents a potential new way to control breast cancer,” Vincent Tuohy, the primary inventor of the vaccine, said in the statement.
The clinic's hope is that the vaccine, developed with Anixa Biosciences, would eventually be administered to healthy women to prevent the severe form of cancer from developing entirely, Budd said.
The study is funded by the Department of Defense and open to nonclinic patients. Its participants will include 18 to 24 patients who have finished treatment for early-stage triple-negative breast cancer in the last three years and are tumor-free but considered at high risk for recurrence, the clinic added.
The study is estimated to be completed in September.