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Cleveland Clinic Announces Next Step in Preventive Breast Cancer Vaccine Study

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Clinical trial now studying cancer-free individuals at high risk for developing breast cancer

 

Cleveland Clinic researchers have launched the next step in their novel study of a vaccine aimed at preventing triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive and lethal form of the disease.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the new phase 1b study will enroll cancer-free individuals at high risk for developing breast cancer who have decided to voluntarily undergo prophylactic mastectomy to lower their risk.

Individuals in that category typically carry genetic mutations that put them at risk of developing triple-negative breast cancer or have high familial risk for any breast cancer. The study, conducted at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, will evaluate safety and monitor immune response.

The new study will include approximately 6-12 patients and is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2023. Study participants will receive three vaccinations given two weeks apart and will be closely monitored for side effects and immune response.

The phase 1b clinical trial, conducted in partnership with Anixa Biosciences, Inc., follows the ongoing phase 1a study, which opened in 2021 and is expected to be complete in the  4th quarter of 2023. The phase 1a trial includes patients who completed treatment for early-stage, triple-negative breast cancer within the past three years and are currently tumor-free but at high risk for recurrence.

“Triple-negative breast cancer is the form of the disease for which we have the least effective treatments,” said G. Thomas Budd, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic’s Taussig Cancer Institute and principal investigator of the study. “Long term, we are hoping that this can be a true preventive vaccine that would be administered to cancer-free individuals to prevent them from developing this highly aggressive disease.”

According to Dr. Budd, there is a great need for improved treatments for triple-negative breast cancer, which does not have biological characteristics that typically respond to hormonal or targeted therapies. Despite representing only about 12% to 15% of all breast cancers, triple-negative breast cancer accounts for a disproportionately higher percentage of breast cancer deaths. It is twice as likely to occur in Black women, and approximately 70 to 80% of the breast tumors that occur in women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene are triple-negative breast cancer.

The vaccine is based on pre-clinical research led by the late Vincent Tuohy, Ph.D., who was the Mort and Iris November Distinguished Chair in Innovative Breast Cancer Research at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. Dr. Tuohy was an outstanding and passionate scientist and his decades of groundbreaking research led to the development of this investigational vaccine.

The vaccine targets a lactation protein, α-lactalbumin, which is no longer found after lactation in normal, aging tissues but is present in the majority of triple-negative breast cancers. If breast cancer develops, the vaccine is designed to prompt the immune system to attack the tumor and keep it from growing.

The study is based on Dr. Tuohy’s research that showed that activating the immune system against α-lactalbumin was safe and effective in preventing breast tumors in mice. The research, originally published in Nature Medicine, was funded in part by philanthropic gifts from more than 20,000 people over the last 12 years.

“It was Dr. Tuohy’s hope that this vaccine would demonstrate the potential of immunization as a new way to control breast cancer, and that a similar approach could someday be applied to other types of malignancy,” added Dr. Budd.

For more information and eligibility requirements visit clinicaltrials.gov.

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Caribbean News

Calls made for reparations tribunal

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

Barbados ambassador to the Caribbean Community, David Comissiong, reportedly called for an international tribunal to seek reparations for the transatlantic slave trade that had milions of Africans forcibly sold into slavery. He was speaking at the third session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (PFPAD) in Geneva, Switzerland on April 17, and he expressed that this is needed as there is currently no international court, to deal with the issues of reparations and that having a tribunal would require positive decision by the UN General Assembly.

In support for Reparatory justice, UN Secretary Antonio Guterres in a video message, addressed the forum while acknowledging that racism is still a major issue today’s society

Comissiong’s view was also supported by other nations at the meeting.

 

 

 

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Caribbean News

St Vincent and the Grenadines Cruise Industry Development Efforts

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

St Vincent and the Grenadines is working to expand its cruise tourism industry, joining the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), as a 2024 Destination Development Strategic Partner, as announced at the Seatrade Cruise Global Conference in Miami on April 10.

Minister of Tourism Carlos James, at the Conference, spoke on the significance of the partnership.

“It’s a significant strategic move in terms of working closely with the FCCA, to leverage a lot of the support that they can offer to our island. In fact, some of the reviews that we just had from this recent discussion here at Seatrade, are really valuable about how we can go back home to St Vincent and the Grenadines and further develop our product. It puts us closer with the cruise lines, it puts us closer with a lot of the service providers within the industry,” he maintained.

 

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Caribbean News

Jamaica and Bahamas teams named for World Relays

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Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer

The World Relay Championships is coming up and The Bahamas has named its team of 28 members called team 242, according to reports. Jamaica has also named its team of 31. The relays will be held in Nassau, Bahamas at the Thomas Robinson Stadium from May 4 to 5 and about 450 athletes from 36 national teams are expected to compete.

 

 

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