Last Updated: 2003-10-22 15:09:14 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A vaccine directed at the E75 peptide, an epidermal growth factor receptor, generated immunity for more than a year and a half in patients treated for advanced breast cancer.
Dr. Craig D. Shriver presented findings from the first clinical trial of the vaccine at the 2003 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons in Chicago. He and his colleagues at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC, recruited 35 patients for the trial, and 12 had tumors that expressed the E75 peptide, which forms a portion of the HER2/neu oncoprotein.
These 12 patients were each immunized 6 times with the vaccine, which also contained granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor as an adjuvant. All subjects developed an E75-selective immune response, which "approached a threshold which in other models is associated with an expected clinical response," Dr. Shriver commented in Clinical Congress press release.
The vaccine's success in this pilot trial has led the team to initiate a larger trial among women with cancer that has not spread beyond the breast. Their ultimate goal is to immunize women at high risk for breast cancer and thus prevent the disease.