Breast cancer is a devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, with approximately 2.3 million new cases diagnosed each year. Despite advances in treatment options, the risk of recurrence and the potential for metastasis remain significant concerns for breast cancer survivors. However, there is new hope on the horizon in the form of a breast cancer vaccine.
A recent episode of the SurvivingBreastCancer.org podcast Breast Cancer Conversations, hosted by Laura Carfang, highlights the promising breakthrough of a breast cancer vaccine. The episode features Dr. Amit Kumar, the chairman and CEO of Anixa Biosciences, and Jennifer Davis, the first recipient of the triple negative breast cancer vaccine, which is currently in testing with Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Kumar, a trained scientist with extensive experience in the biotech industry, explains that Anixa Biosciences partnered with Cleveland Clinic in 2019 to bring this groundbreaking vaccine technology out of the laboratory and into human testing. The vaccine is designed to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer in survivors and potentially even prevent the onset of cancer in individuals who have never had breast cancer before. While the vaccine’s initial target is triple negative breast cancer, Dr. Kumar believes that this technology has the potential to prevent other types of breast cancer as well.
Dr. Kumar emphasizes the significance of targeting triple negative breast cancer, which has not previously been achieved as it has for hormone receptor positive breast cancers. “If you have triple negative breast cancer, there’s really nothing out there in targeted therapy today. As a result, triple negative—which also happens to be the most lethal form of [breast] cancer and the most aggressive type of [breast] cancer that results in the most recurrences—really doesn’t have a lot of good therapies.”