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Researchers close in on breast cancer vaccine

d T-cells attacked those loaded cells.

The research team also transferred vaccine-primed T cells into mice with growing tumors that had or didn't have mammaglobin-A antigens. Tumors with mammaglobin-A antigens stopped growing and shrunk in volume, while those without the antigens continued to grow at the usual pace.

"The results demonstrated that the vaccine-primed immune response is specific to mammaglobin-A antigens," Mohanakumar says.

Breast tumors with mammaglobin-A antigens on their surface also may display antigens that come from multiple parts of the mammaglobin-A molecule. Further experiments confirmed the importance of generating T cells that can react to a variety of different mammaglobin-A antigens.

When the research team tested a DNA vaccine containing the DNA code for just one part of the mammaglobin-A molecule, they found T cells reacting to only that antigen, indicating that the method can generate immune cells that target specific parts of the mammaglobin-A protein.

"Now that we've found how effectively an immune response can be generated to mammaglobin-A, we plan to conduct clinical trials in patients who are at very high risk for breast cancer and in patients who have had a relapse after initial treatment," Mohanakumar says. "We want to see if giving patients the DNA vaccine can prevent or eliminate breast cancer or at least slow its growth."


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Contact: Gwen Ericson
jdryden@wustl.edu
314-286-0141
Washington University School of Medicine
8-Mar-2005


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