Tuesday, December 8, 2009


There are no targeted therapies for triple negative breast cancer. It is susceptible to being killed by traditional agents (such as my friend the Red Devil)that kill fast growing cells. Mucin 1 is a protein that 92% of triple negative breast cancer cells have (other tumors such as ovarian have it too). It is not clear to me what its function is but a vaccine has been developed by Cleveland Clinic researchers that targets it. If all goes well, the vaccine will create antibodies to any cell containing this protein and kill it before it gets to metastasize. A small study is in progress. Hopefully this will work.

Also in the TNBC news is that these patients are more likely to have 'metabolic disorder' versus non-TNBC breast cancer patients. People with this disorder have low HDL, high glucose levels, high waist to hip ratios, tendency to be diabetic, etc. How this might make people prone to TNBC, who knows. Maybe the TNBC cells feed off the high glucose levels. I am overweight but I don't think I have this disorder. Metformin (an anti-diabetic agent) has been shown in the lab to deplete TNBC cells and kill them. I don't know if any clinic studies are in progress to see how this would help.

Ignorance is sometimes bliss. Every study I read starts with the same depressing spiel on how deadly TNBC is. While in treatment I did a lot of reading and I felt doomed. Now that I feel better, I think that I might escape with my life and that this whole mess will be behind me.

Since it will be very windy in the next 2 days, I ran outside today (cold but no wind or ice) despite this being a Y day.

This is by 400th post on this blog. Someday I will go back and edit.


Alli said...

This is good news though isn't it Sue?

I pray there is a day in the not to distant future when we can get a shot like we do all our other immunizations as a protective agent to ward off ALL cancers..What a concept!

Sara Williams said...

We all worry about re-occurance but its best not to dwell on things. We live in HOPE that a cure will be found pretty soon and I am sure it will.


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