A trial of 26 patients found that a vaccine administered monthly to women led to a survival rate of almost 14 months for breast cancerAbnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. and 15 months for ovarianrelating to the ovaries cancer. The women, twelve of whom had breast cancer and 14 ovarian cancer, were pre-treated with chemotherapyThe use of chemical substances to treat disease, particularly cancer. and were then given the PANVAC vaccine. The vaccine generated immune responses against the cancer and led to a sustained benefit.
The most common side effect of the treatment was a mild reaction at the injection site but lead investigator, James Gulley of the Laboratory of Tumor Immunology and Biology at the National Cancer Institute, concluded that more studies in ovarian and breast cancer patients are needed before the vaccine can be adequately assessed.