A vaccine is being tested at the Mayo Clinic that researchers say has removed cancer cells from a breast cancer patient in Florida.
Lee Mercker was the first to participate in the clinical trial. In March, she was shocked to learn she had breast cancer.
“I’m an exercise fanatic, I eat right,” she told First Coast News. “But it just can knock on anybody’s door.”
Mercker said she was told she had “DCIS stage zero” breast cancer, which meant the cancer cells in the ducts of her breasts had not yet spread.
That left her with three options — the traditional route of surgically removing the cancer cells, surgery to remove her breasts or join a clinical trial for a vaccine that could prevent the cancer cells from coming back.
“I signed on the dotted line that day,” Mercker said.
Dr Saranya Chumsri, an oncologist at the clinic says that the vaccine is, “supposed to stimulate a patient’s own immune response so that the immune cells like t-cells would go in and attack the cancer.”
Doctors say a new vaccine undergoing clinical trials at the Mayo Clinic has effectively removed cancer cells, providing new hope for cancer survivors. https://t.co/PxjBcBoBKU
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) October 11, 2019
A Florida woman in the early stages of breast cancer is the first person to participate in the testing of the vaccine and doctors say her cancer cells are gone.
Dr. Chumsri says other patients in the clinical trial are also showing positive results after getting the treatment.