A promising new drug has entered human trials — a drug that might prevent breast cancer from developing. According to BBC.com, researchers from Ohio's Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute have successfully prevented breast cancer in mice. The researchers have been approved to test the drug in human subjects.
Vincent Tuohy, one of the researchers, told the BBC that the drug could one day be used as a vaccine to "prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines have prevented many childhood diseases ... If it works in humans the way it works in mice, this will be monumental. We could eliminate breast cancer." The BBC suggests that the new drug could be similar to existing vaccines for cervical cancer and liver cancer, although those vaccines target viruses known to cause the disease and not the cancer itself.
The new drug targets the protein in cancerous tumors, making it a unique cancer-fighting agent. In Tuohy's study, none of the cancer-prone mice injected with the new drug developed breast cancer while all of the mice injected with a placebo contracted the disease. The drug is still in early stages of clinical trials and has a long way to go before proven safe and effective in human subjects.