WVU Cancer Institute enrolls first patients in breast cancer vaccine trial

WVU Cancer Institute enrolls first patients in breast cancer vaccine trial

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The WVU Cancer Institute has enrolled two of the first three patients in a national clinical trial for a novel breast cancer vaccine.

The trial, sponsored by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) Foundation, will examine the recommended biologic dose of a vaccine in combination with pembrolizumab, an immunotherapy drug that is used to fight certain cancers, in the treatment of patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer.

“This vaccine works differently than traditional vaccines by helping to stimulate an immune response, which will enable the immunotherapy agent to uncloak and attack the cancer,” Sobha Kurian, M.D., WVU Medicine hematologist/oncologist and primary investigator of the study, said. “The immunotherapy by itself may not work against certain cancers because the cancer cells cloak themselves and often cannot be detected by the immune system, but this vaccine may help to overcome this problem.”

The WVU Cancer Institute joins 10 other cancer centers across the country in recruiting 29 patients for this study.

“The ability to participate in this study exemplifies the WVU Cancer Institute’s role as a leader in cancer research,” Dr. Kurian said. “The field of breast cancer research is constantly evolving, and we are honored to be at the forefront.”

Patients who receive the treatment will be closely monitored for up to 90 days to assess the efficacy of the drug and vaccine combination.

For more information on the WVU Cancer Institute, visit WVUMedicine.org/Cancer

To date, the Norma Mae Huggins Cancer Research Endowment Fund has raised about $5 million to support clinical research trials for cancer patients in West Virginia. But, to the patients and physicians impacted by those funds, their value is priceless. To learn more, click here.

For more information: Heather Sammons, Communications Specialist, 304-285-7256