Your Health: New therapy for breast cancer being studied - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Your Health: New therapy for breast cancer being studied

A new study at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio is studying a cancer vaccine which can harness the body's immune system. A new study at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio is studying a cancer vaccine which can harness the body's immune system.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

Bobbie Puckett still remembers the first thing she thought of when told she had cancer. 

"I'm going to die. I feared because I had my grand baby and I had my kids and I didn't want to not be here," said Puckett.

Family was all she could think about.  

"I had breast cancer, stage two, and I was diagnosed September 23rd of 2010. I had surgery in October of 2010," she added.

After a series of drugs, Puckett is now on Tamixofin as a preventive. 

She said she is also frightened of passing along a "gene" to her children and grandchildren.

A new study at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio is studying a vaccine which can harness the body's immune system.  Oncologist Dr. Traci McCormick says it's promising. 

"We've been looking at immune therapy for cancer in general for a very, very long time," said McCormick.

She says it's a huge step. 

"The way the vaccine works is it targets part of the cancer cell and this immunization that they have found actually causes the body's immune system to fight the cancer cells before they have a chance to grow and multiply," she added.

This is for women who had an aggressive form of the disease and to keep it from coming back. 

"This is what we call a phase II trial, which means it's early. We don't know yet if it's going to help reduce cancer recurrence," said McCormick.

Bobbie Puckett was encouraged when she found out about the study. 

"The first thing I said was, I want to be that candidate. I want to try it because I don't want to go through what I've been through. My life has been upside down," said Puckett.

It's important to realize that this study is in the very early stages, and it will be a while before it actually gets to the public. Although hopes are high in these early stages, it's at least five years away if they feel it will work.

Copyright 2012 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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