IMMUNE THERAPY may hold promise for preventing metastasis in breast cancer patients, according to new animal studies.
The treatment opens up the possibility of improving survival after primary breast tumors are excised, said H. Kim Lyerly, MD, clinical director of the Molecular Therapeutic Program at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. "It may also increase the utility of surgery for women with metastatic disease because it can prevent further metastases from forming," he added. Lyerly and his colleagues presented their findings in Chicago, Ill, at the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons.
The researchers surgically implanted breast cancer tumor cells onto the feet of mice. These cells developed into palpable breast tumors within 7 days of implantation. After 20 days, the researchers removed the tumors. The mice later developed lung metastases in a manner similar to the clinical course of women with breast cancer metastases. Because cytokine