By Charles Bankhead, Staff Writer, MedPage Today
SAN FRANCISCO — A cancer vaccine derived from HER2 protein (breast cancer gene protein) demonstrated safety and the preliminary evidence of activity in a randomized trial of patients with breast cancer looked very promising.
No relapses occurred in patients with HER2-positive disease who completed the entire vaccine course after receiving standard treatment. After a 34-month median follow-up, vaccinated patients had a disease-free survival (DFS) of 88% as compared with 81% for patients who received an immunostimulant without the GP2 fragment of HER2 protein, reported Elizabeth A. Mittendorf, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“The GP2 vaccine is safe and capable of stimulating an immune response,” Mittendorf said. “In HER2-positive patients who complete the primary vaccination series after standard of care trastuzumab (Herceptin), there have been no recurrences.
“This is a very exciting area and something we can look forward to,” A. Marilyn Leitch, MD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas told MedPage Today. “We still have patients who fail despite how well breast cancer patients do as a group. It is these types of developments that may help us deal with those patients.” Reviewed/posted by Dr. Russell