Why breast cancer prevention?
Many women die each year due to preventable diseases.
The leading cause of death in women today is breast cancer, and prevention is the best way to save lives.
Breast cancer is currently the most recurrent malignancy in a woman’s lifetime, according to a Mayo Clinic study.
It is estimated that treating breast cancer in its early stages reduces mortality by 500%.
It is important to know the statistics of cases and also to recognize how it affects the life of the patient who presents it, unfortunately because of its high mortality rate.
This disease tends to be difficult to treat, one can take as an example the statistics of 2018.
Year in which approximately 2.9 million cases of mammary carcinoma were diagnosed worldwide and that, about 30% of that value, were recorded as deaths.
However, this death statistic varies depending on the stage of the disease.
With an early stage diagnosis, the chances of survival are higher.
On the other hand, those found late have a worse prognosis.
When it is found late, survival is less than one year.
The mammography is the best way to prevent breast cancer, since it is found in early stages, where treatment is much more successful.
Grupo PTM, the leading company in early detection, has performed more than 2 million timely diagnoses in 10 years.
Especially in the most vulnerable and poorest areas in Mexico, through its low cost and high efficiency PACS.
Currently, different treatments are being developed against all types of cancer, most of which are in the testing phase.
Knowing this, there has been talk about the vaccine that in the future could complement the basis for treatment and eradication of breast cancer in its early stages.
This vaccine can strengthen the body, making it capable of attacking the cancerous cells that develop in the breast tissue.
How can a vaccine help in the prevention of breast cancer?
Immunotherapy is based on improving the immune system of the affected organism, which helps us in the prevention of various diseases.
For example, when we catch a cold, increasing its effectiveness and attacking, in the case of breast cancer, those abnormal cells that are developing.
Let’s talk about Lee Mercker, a woman who in March 2019 was diagnosed at an early stage of breast cancer, who received treatment at the Mayo Clinic, United States.
One of the most recognized medical institutions in the world, where, as an alternative to conventional therapy, she was informed that she could be part of a new study related to immunotherapy.
Where a vaccine developed to fight cancer during its early stages would be tested.
Lee Mercker is the first person in the world in which it was possible to prevent the development of breast cancer by means of a vaccine and without a doubt the advances can be encouraging.
If convincing results are maintained in the next trials, it could become a treatment of choice in the early stages of cancer.
Perhaps not only of the breast, but of some other type of cancer, since immunotherapy strengthens the body's immune system in general.
The treatment applied to Mrs. Mercker was based on subjecting her to this experimental vaccine for a period of 12 weeks.
In addition to taking the corresponding blood samples together with the appropriate physical examination and routine examinations such as mammography or ultrasound.
The follow-up of Mrs. Mercker’s breast cancer by Dr. Keith Nutson, who was in charge of the vaccine research and the case.
He indicated that, after 7 months, the breast tumor shrank enough to confirm that the vaccine treatment was working.
And this is a plus point for the study, because despite being the first human trial.
It showed promising results, without causing any life-threatening adverse reactions or underlying disease.
As a complement to the vaccine, she underwent a double partial mastectomy.
This procedure consists of removing breast tissue from both breasts in order to prevent any possible recurrence of breast cancer cells.
How long will this vaccine be available?
This is the question that most people ask themselves after learning about this case.
Fortunately, due to the efficacy that was obtained in the first study of the vaccine, further studies have begun in selected patients.
who are in both early and advanced stages of breast cancer.
If all goes according to expectations, this vaccine could be available within a decade or even less, for most breast cancer patients.
Revolutionizing breast cancer prevention in Mexico and the world forever.
However, financing these studies involves a high financial cost.
Just to carry out more tests of this vaccine at the Mayo Clinic.
Between 12 to 20 million dollars would have to be invested, taking into account that the vaccine is not in its final stages of development.
And that these tests are only aimed at a specific number of patients.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will decide whether or not it is suitable for therapeutic use, depending on the results obtained,
What stages must a vaccine go through to be accepted?
For a vaccine to be considered efficient as a method of breast cancer prevention, it must fulfill different processes, in this case phases.
In which its functionality and the possible adverse reactions produced in the organism are tested.
The first phase is called basic science, the necessary data are collected to identify which disease is of importance and, therefore, the need to develop a vaccine.
Its transmission mechanism must be studied, followed by tests on laboratory animals.
A clear example is the development of different vaccines against the COVID-19 virus, classified as a relevant infection due to its emergence worldwide.
After that, we move on to the post-basic science phase.
Laboratory animals (commonly rats) are introduced to a dose of the disease to be tested.
In order to identify both physical reactions, such as fur loss, and chemical reactions, where cognitive alterations may occur, in addition to studying how the animal’s organism defends itself.
At this point, the most convenient method for the administration of the medicine should be assigned, either orally or injected, if it is possible to combine it with different treatments.
As in the case of the MMR vaccine, which strengthens the immune system against:
- Finally, the specifications for its use.
It then moves on to the pre-clinical testing phase, in which the performance of the vaccine is evaluated, including whether it causes harmful adverse reactions in animals.
If validated, it starts the last phase of clinical trials, which are divided into 4 stages (I – IV).
They are based on experimenting with a selected number of patients with the disease, examining the response of the organism and possible alterations after administration.
If no complications occur that cause serious underlying effects, this treatment may continue to progress to stage IV, known as “post-marketing”.
Where it is up to the FDA to validate its distribution and use at a national or global level, including contraindications for its correct management.
Vaccines in development to prevent breast cancer.
Currently, the Facultad de Estudios Superiores de Zaragoza, Mexico City, is developing a vaccine that can help in the prevention of breast cancer.
By means of chimeric particles, its function is to replicate the response that the organism would generate in the face of a viral infection.
However, without causing such infection, but providing the immune system with the data to be recognized, and thus, apply it as recognition of developing tumor cells.
This method has had its advances in the post-basic science phase.
If the breast cancer vaccine trials are completed without complications, it may possibly be attributed guidelines to follow before administration along with possible side effects.
In addition, it could be the basis for the development of different vaccines for therapeutic purposes associated with oncology.
In this month of October, dedicated to breast cancer awareness, Grupo PACS and Teleradiology, always aware of the importance of health in Mexican and Latin American women, in addition to providing relevant information for both the general public and the medical community, invites all its readers to take measures to prevent this disease, such as performing periodic self-examination, annual mastography and complementary studies necessary to prevent and treat this disease in a timely manner.