In 2009, there were more than 194,000 new cases of breast cancer, and more than 40,000 deaths caused by this most common form of cancer among women in the United States. Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) positive breast cancer is one of the more aggressive forms of breast cancer and is prevalent in about one of every three cases of breast cancer. This protein is made in low levels by normal breast cells, but is produced in excessively high levels in HER2-positive breast cancer. In addition, HER2- positive tumors grow faster, recur more often than other breast tumors and are less responsive to hormone treatments. Wayne State University in conjunction with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is on the cusp of a new discovery that may someday save many lives. Wei-Zen Wei, professor of immunology and microbiology in the School of Medicine and at Karmanos, is leading a research team that has developed a cancer vaccine that recognizes HER-2 positive cancer cells, and helps to prevent their spread and destroy them.
Ellis, Patricia A. and O'Connor, Julie
"A Search For a Cure: One Step Closer to Eliminating Breast Cancer,"
New Science: Vol. 18
, Article 22.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/newscience/vol18/iss1/22