A vaccine is being tested that may be a breakthrough in breast cancer prevention.
Doctors say that work done by organizations like the Susan G. Komen foundation, that holds a Race for the Cure each year, could be part of the reason the research is becoming so advanced.
Doctors say after clinical trials start, it may be five years before they know the success of the research.
By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Researchers may be one step closer in the fight against breast cancer.
A new vaccine was developed at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio that has prevented cancerous tumors from growing in mice, and doctors say it could do the same in humans.
For eight years scientists have been working on the breast cancer vaccine. This is promising news to doctors and those who may battle the disease.
"It was incredibly tough," said Lori McKanna. "It was an emotional experience."
It's been 10 years since McKanna got the life changing news. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 30 years old.
She participates in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure every year and now she's on the organization's board.
The breakthrough in breast cancer research is news she's been waiting to hear.
"It's huge, it's exciting, it's awesome," said McKanna. "I wish they would have had it 10 years ago."
Scientists have created a vaccine that prevents tumors from growing in mice. The same could hold true for humans in the future.
"Imagine a shot versus six months of chemotherapy and recovery from major surgery," McKanna said.
Right now there are medications that can decrease the chance of getting breast cancer, but nothing that could potentially prevent the disease, until now. Local doctors say the research is promising.
"It's a very early, promising breakthrough," said Dr. Mary Ann Bauman. "It was tested on mice and had very good results, but there's a lot of steps going from animal getting to maybe different animals to getting to humans and finding it's safe as well."
The vaccine could be used for high-risk women and women over the age of 40 if it is found safe.
"All of the hard work that we have done as an organization and other organizations, like Susan G. Komen, have done that this could potentially pay off," McKanna said.
The next step in the vaccine is possibly more animal testing, then to clinical trials on cancer patients.
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