Hardly anything is as sensitive as the topic of breast cancer. Most prominent example: actress Angelina Jolie. The 46-year-old not only lost her mother Marcheline Bertrand to breast cancer in 2007, her aunt Debbie Bertrand also died in 2013. The actress had both breasts removed as a precaution.
In the fight against breast cancer, an amputation, a genetic test and the classic preliminary examination have so far been among the most reliable and only means. But that might change soon. After 20 years of development, American researchers have found a vaccine against triple-negative breast cancer. The vaccine is to be administered to women as a precautionary measure so that the cancer does not break out in the first place.
Breast cancer screening: is vaccination against breast cancer coming soon?
The aim of the breast cancer vaccination from the USA is to activate the immune system of the vaccinated against a very specific protein: α-lactalbumin. If the breast tissue is healthy, α-Lactalbumin produced only during pregnancy and lactation. Protein plays an important role in milk production. After that, it is usually degraded again. However, this is not always the case. This is exactly where the vaccination wants to start. Because α-lactalbumin occurs particularly frequently on tumor cells of triple-negative breast carcinomas.
Breast cancer vaccine: when will it be approved?
The vaccine has already been successfully tested on laboratory animals. The first clinical test phase with women is now starting. In the first phase, the vaccine is supposed to 18 to 24 women tested who have previously had triple negative breast cancer that has been successfully removed. Only when the right dose has been found and it has been established that the vaccine is safe should further phases be tested to determine its effectiveness. It is therefore not yet clear when exactly approval will take place in the EU. However, it will be several years before the studies are completed.
In the video: Feel the breast yourself – step-by-step instructions