Everyone is looking for a way to cure breast cancer. Of course, one of the first on the case methods for any cures is labeling your discoveries to be “vaccines.” There are 100s of articles touting breast cancer vaccines on the horizon, but that’s far from true. These concoctions are untested and potentially don’t represent the idea of vaccination.
Vaccinations are widely abused these days, Pharmaceutical companies are constantly developing vaccines for almost anything that ails us. To be able to label a drug as a “breast cancer vaccine” would be hitting the proverbial pot of gold.
The breast cancer hype machine started back at the end of 2014 when researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis claimed they’d made some huge headway.
(via wustl.edu) A breast cancer vaccine developed at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is safe in patients with metastatic breast cancer, results of an early clinical trial indicate. Preliminary evidence also suggests that the vaccine primed the patients’ immune systems to attack tumor cells and helped slow the cancer’s progression.
The vaccine primes a type of white blood cell, part of the body’s adaptive immune system, to seek out and destroy cells with the mammaglobin-A protein. In the smaller proportion of breast cancer patients whose tumors do not produce mammaglobin-A, this vaccine would not be effective.
In the new study, 14 patients with metastatic breast cancer that expressed mammaglobin-A were vaccinated. The Phase 1 trial was designed mainly to assess the vaccine’s safety. According to the authors, patients experienced few side effects, reporting eight events classified as mild or moderate, including rash, tenderness at the vaccination site and mild flu-like symptoms. No severe or life-threatening side effects occurred.
Followed up in February with this.
(via usatoday.com) Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville are planning to do clinical trials for a vaccine that would hopefully prevent the disease from coming back after a patient has been treated.
Triple-negative breast cancer, or TNBC, strikes 15 percent to 20 percent of breast cancer patients. Unlike most forms of breast cancer, it’s not fueled by estrogen and cannot be treated with estrogen blockers like Tamoxifen. Right now, the only treatment is chemotherapy and the disease, even when treated, is likely to come back and spread.
We should be concerned that pharmaceutical companies will attempt to push out vaccines in this scenario for the sake of hitting the holy grail of profit. This is huge business. I’d remain wary of any cure claims. For example, in this case, they are making claims but really they are only using mice (here). What chemicals are being used in these proposed vaccines? We already know how other vaccines have effected our children and adults worldwide. Will these breast cancer vaccines be the second coming of flu vaccines, which really help hardly anyone, yet their fear based marketing has over 60% of people receiving them? What would be the long term effects of taking such injections?
This whole thing just makes me nervous. Breast cancer is just scary enough that many people might end up just trying things out of fear or a feeling of desperation. The history of vaccines is a lesson in fear mongering, manufactured illnesses, side effects and even death. I’m not sure I want pharmaceutical companies to have their hand in this pot.