Breast cancer vaccine effective in Mayo Clinic patient

Researchers at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic developed a vaccine that effectively killed breast cancer cells in a clinical trial patient, according to Mayo Clinic News Network

Mayo's clinical trial is evaluating the use of the vaccine in women with ductal carcinoma in situ, a noninvasive form of breast cancer. 

"It's supposed to stimulate a patient's own immune response so that the immune cells like t-cells would go in and attack the cancer," Saranya Chumsri, MD, an oncologist at Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Fla., told NBC and ABC affiliate First Coast News.

Lee Mercker was the first patient to receive the vaccine, according to First Coast News. Ms. Mercker was diagnosed with stage 0 DCIS in March, meaning the cancer cells had not spread past her breast ducts yet.  

After receiving the vaccine for 12 weeks, Ms. Mercker had a mastectomy that confirmed the cancer was gone.  

The vaccine can be administered easily, similar to a flu shot, according to Dr. Chumsri. She added that another patient currently receiving the vaccine is demonstrating good results.

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