The vaccination in combination with Trastuzumab works by activating the immune system's B-cells, which attacks breast tumor cells with HER2. The process then triggers other groups of cells so that they that promote resistance to the recurrence of the illness.
» RELATED: Breast cancer treatment may trigger heart problems, study says
"The vaccine provides a prevention strategy to deter cancer reformation," coauthor Keith Knutson said in a statement. "The body's T-cells and B-cells synergize with each other for a strong, durable, immune response."
The analysts found the medicine can cause mild responses like fatigue. For future research, they hope to find out how long immunity will last and whether it can be use to help target other cancerous cells.
“The standard approaches to treating cancer address the existing disease,” Knutson said. “Our goal is to develop a strategy to address recurrence. We have good drugs, like Trastuzumab, that can interfere with the recurrence of HER2 breast cancer. Our hope is that a vaccine that engages multiple aspects of the body's own immune system will build on those successes.”
The researchers have received an $11 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for further exploration.
» RELATED: Avoid this meat to prevent breast cancer, study says