Novel Vaccine Decreases Recurrence in HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Patients

Novel Vaccine Decreases Recurrence in HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Patients
HER2Immunotherapy as a treatment to prevent cancer recurrence is now being further confirmed by a new breast cancer vaccine candidate, GP2. New findings about the vaccine are the result of a phase II randomized trial and are being presented by The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at the 2014 American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Breast Cancer Symposium in San Francisco. For high-risk patients of cancer recurrence, GP2 has proven to be safe and effective in reducing recurrence rates by 57%. One of the most aggressive types of breast cancer is one that tests positive for the expression of the protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). HER2 promotes tumor growth, is found in 75-80% of breast cancer cases, and is usually associated with increased disease recurrence. Now, in women with the highest over expression of HER2 (known as HER2 +3), the team from MD Anderson reports that administrating the GP2 vaccine after a complete round of trastuzumab (Herceptin) treatment eliminated cancer recurrence. Principal investigator Elizabeth Mittendorf, M.D., Ph.D., noted that, “This is an important and different avenue in immunotherapy research, in that we are investigating ways to prevent cancer recurrence by stimulating the immune system to treat cancer. The ultimate goal is to develop a preventative tool that will minimize the risk of recurrence in women who have already had breast cancer and for whom standard therapies have failed.”
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