Breast Cancer Vaccine Passes Safety Test
18 patients treated without harm, some benefit seen in slowing disease
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 19, 2007 12:05 PM CDT
Breast cancer survivors cheer during the Parade of Pink before the start of the 2007 Susan G. Komen National Race for the Cure Saturday, June 2, 2007, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – A breast cancer vaccine is one step closer to FDA approval after a study found it produced no harmful effects in 18 women treated, and showed some signs of slowing tumors, Reuters reports. Neuvenge is meant to treat people who already have cancer by triggering the immune system to fight the disease; it must be tailored for each patient.

Four of the women with advanced breast cancer appeared to be helped by the vaccine: in one, tumors shrank over the course of the treatment, and in three others the cancer's progress was halted for up to a year. The vaccine targets a type of breast cancer called her2/neu-positive, which affects 20-30% of breast cancer patients.