Great news! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given clearance for the development of a breast cancer vaccine. By the spring of 2021 human trials could begin. Although breast cancer has been a major cause for concern worldwide, the development of the vaccine has been 10 years in the making. In 2018 approximately 2 million new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. Of the 9.6 deaths caused by cancer, 627 000 were caused by breast cancer. Although no Caribbean country made it on the top 25 list of counties with the highest rates, a list headed by Belgium, a large number of breast cancer cases have been diagnosed in the Caribbean; It is the leading cause of cancer deaths among Caribbean females.
Recently, much focus has been given to breast cancer with October being observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It would certainly be a cause for celebration if by October 2021 there is the news that the vaccine is ready. While breast cancer is no pandemic, its seriousness should have caused greater alacrity in the development of the vaccine. However, with clearance now given it is hoped that progress will be speedier.
The vaccine is being developed by the Cleveland Clinic‘s immunologist Dr Vincent Tuophy. The clinic is partnering with Anixa Biosciences. The initial focus of the vaccine is triple-negative breast cancer, which is the most lethal, but developers say that eventually, it should be able to prevent other forms of cancer including ovarian cancer. The world eagerly awaits the development.