Mayo Clinic Q&A

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Episodes Clinical trial for ductal carcinoma in situ vaccine

woman wearing a pink strapless shirt doing a breast self-exam

Clinical trial for ductal carcinoma in situ vaccine
October 20, 2020

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is an early form of a non-invasive breast cancer that begins as abnormal cells inside the milk ducts in the breast. It typically doesn't show signs or symptoms and it's estimated that up to 40% of cases eventually become invasive if not treated.

The current standard treatment is to perform a lumpectomy or a mastectomy in more extreme cases. Clinical trials are underway to determine if some patients with ductal carcinoma in situ might be able to avoid surgery. 

"In addition to considering proton therapy to target the cancer, Mayo Clinic is conducting a clinical trial that involves a vaccine that could boost immunity against the HER2 receptor," says Dr. Amy Degnim, a surgeon with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "HER2 is a protein that in some cases is on the outside of cancer cells and for women with ductal carcinoma in situ, these receptors are present in about 50% to 60% of the cases." 

In this Mayo Clinic Q&A podcast Dr. Degnim, and one of her patients, Helen Gagoud, discuss receiving a ductal carcinoma in situ diagnosis and determining treatment, as well as the hopeful vaccine research at Mayo Clinic.