Posted on Nov 16, 2022

Conferences, cancer vaccines and breast cancer genetics.

What are we up to in November?
November is a busy month for the team at Cerca Biotech. We will be in Dusseldorf, Germany for MEDICA 2022, 14-17 November. To add to the fun we are also presenting the same week at the European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC) in Barcelona, Spain, from the 16th to 18th November. At EBCC we’re presenting exciting new data comparing MammaTyper® to IHC from three different reference centre cohorts in needle core biopsies of breast cancer. More on this coming soon.

We will have exhibition stands at both conferences and we will be hosting some social events. If you’re attending, come and find us at MEDICA or EBCC! Get in touch to arrange a meeting.

Industry round-up

We’ve been working hard to get ready for conferences this month. However, we’ve still found the time to collate a round-up of the most recent developments in breast cancer research and care, so you don’t have to scour the journals yourself.

In the news

  • Hope for breast cancer technology? Technology is making a difference to patient outcomes in breast cancer, as this summary from Healthcare IT news concludes. From lymphedema prevention to improving radiotherapy precision, technological advances can be translated into real improvements in care.
  • A step closer to a breast cancer vaccine. In the United States Anixa Biosciences has announced commencement of Phase 1b trial for its preventative breast cancer vaccine. They have already begun recruiting people with high breast cancer risk, but have not had mastectomy. Those who take apart will receive three vaccinations and monitoring of immune response and side effect profiles. If successful, the vaccine has potential to prevent triple negative breast cancer. Study completion is estimated for the end of 2023, so watch this space.
  • A vaccine for all cancers, within reach. BioNtech scientists, husband and wife, Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci have given hope for cancer protection. In a recent interview, Türeci described how repurposing mRNA technology used in their Covid vaccine could lead to the development of a cancer vaccine. Rapid development of mRNA vaccines during the pandemic, means that scientists may be able to keep up this pace, BioNtech has several cancer vaccines in clinical trials. While the pair remain cautious, they hope such vaccines could be available “before 2030”. For some extra context, read this recent overview of mRNA cancer vaccine trials in The Lancet. As you may know BioNtech helped develop MammaTyper® and so we always look out for their latest oncology innovations.

From the journals

  • Genetic link between African ancestry and aggressive breast cancer. US researchers studied gene expression profiles in people of African Ancestry and triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Confirming a conclusive genetic connection between African ancestry and TNBC. The study also describes immune response patterns in people of African descent that may help explain worse disease outcomes. These findings will help build a foundation for research into better treatment with people who have African ancestry and TNBC, with the hope of improve disparities for this population.
  • Eliminating surgery for some breast cancer patients. A small study has shown that patients with early HER2-positive or TNBC, who opted to avoid surgery after pathologic complete response to neoadjuvant therapy, had no recurrences in the first 2 years of follow-up. Whilst more research is needed, results show that a select group of patients may be able to skip surgery altogether.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month collection: In case you missed it, October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month. BMC Cancer produced a curated collection of key research studies for the month.  The focus is on “global breast cancer screening programs and early diagnosis to reduce health disparities and promote breast cancer control worldwide.”

 And finally…

The UK charity, Breast Cancer Now have launched their report, Delivering real choice: the future of breast reconstruction in England. Which summarises results from a large survey into the barriers and challenges facing breast reconstruction services and patients. They’re calling for “practical plan for breast reconstruction services that addresses the backlog.” Add your voice to their campaign.