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Doctor developing vaccine that would prevent breast, ovarian and certain lung cancers


By Danielle Avitable

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A Jacksonville doctor is working on a vaccine that would fight off several types of cancer.

He said he’s about halfway through the process before it would get to the market.

A vaccine called TPIV 200 would prevent breast, ovarian and some lung cancers, and it is being created in a Mayo Clinic lab by Dr. Keith Knutson.

“It would not only enable us to prevent disease from recurring in individuals, it would be paradigm shifting,” Knutson said.

Knutson starting working on this concept back in 2007, and said he began testing the vaccine on animals that have developed breast cancer.

“That looked to be very, very promising, and enabled us to move into humans that develop breast cancer and ovarian cancers,” Dr. Knutson said.

The doctor said the vaccine works by teaching the body’s immune system T cells to recognize cancer cells and attack.

“Hopefully, the immune system will kick in and get rid of the disease, that’s the hope,” Knutson said.



Ovarian cancer ranks fifth in cancer deaths among women, with breast cancer affecting about 1 in 8 women.

This vaccine will be tested on the 15 to 25 percent of women who had triple negative breast cancer.

“They are very high risk for their disease coming back,” Dr. Knutson said.

Some people said this is a long time coming.

“Cancer has been around for so long, and we have so much technology these days, this should have happened much sooner than now,” Jacksonville resident Skye Reed said.

The doctor said he is hoping that this vaccine will become a primary prevention, but right now, it is being tested on people who have been treated for cancer, and the hope is that it will prevent it from coming back.




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