Human Trials Next for Promising Breast Cancer Vaccine
Successfully blocked disease in mice
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2010 6:13 AM CDT
Breast cancer may someday join the ranks of diseases eradicated by vaccination.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Breast cancer may someday go the way of polio and smallpox, stamped out by a routine vaccination. A promising new breast cancer vaccine is moving into human trials after effectively blocking the formation of the disease in mice genetically prone to it. "If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental," one researcher told the BBC. "We could eliminate breast cancer."

If the researchers manage to vaccinate against cancer in humans, it would be a first. Because cancer is an overgrowth of the body's own cells rather than a virus, scientists have not yet been able to fight it with a vaccine. The two existing cancer vaccines target viruses that lead to cancer rather than cancer itself. Scientists are hopeful about the breast cancer vaccine, but even if it proves successful, widespread availability remains years away.