A vaccine to treat breast cancer

In what's being claimed a medical breakthrough , scientists say they have developed a vaccine to treat breast cancer, using a patient's own cells.

An international team says that tests on women revealed "promising" results, with 85% of the patients with a ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), the most common non-invasive form of the disease , showing protection after four years. In fact, in their tests, the scientists, led by the University of Pennsylvania, enrolled 27 patients and isolated specialized white cells using standard techniques similar to blood donation.

The cells were manipulated in the laboratory to allow the immune system to recognize the cancerous cells as foreign and attack them. Each patient received four weekly injections of their personalized vaccine and had surgery two weeks later to remove any remaining disease.

The scientists compared pre-vaccination samples with post-vaccination samples and found five patients, almost 20%, had no disease visible, indicating their immune system had wiped out the tumour. Of the remaining 22, damaging proteins had been eliminated in 11 and reduced by 20% or more in another two, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported. "We are continuing to see this pattern in our second, ongoing trial," team leader Dr Brian Czerniecki said.

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