The first-ever recipient of a new breast cancer vaccine has been revealed to the public. Jennifer Davis, of Ohio, received the breakthrough vaccine, developed by Cleveland Clinic, in October 2021.
She had previously battled triple-negative breast cancer, and went into remission in 2018. She was chosen for the trial as there was a high chance the cancer would return, Mail Online reports.
Davis is awaiting the results of the trial but said the vaccine had brought her peace of mind that the disease could be behind her for good.
“It all fell into place and worked out perfectly,” she told Fox News — though her journey is not over yet.
“I’m very, very excited,” she said. “What I’m waiting to find out, what everybody is looking to see, is whether I built up an immune response to the breast cancer.”
Ms Davis, a nurse from Lisbon, Ohio, around 60 miles North-West of Pittsburgh, found a lump in her breast in February 2018.
Her first biopsy — a test done on tissue removed from a living person to check for a disease — at a local hospital found no evidence of cancer.
But the lump grew over the next few months and Davis had another biopsy after an ultrasound showed abnormalities.
A week later, she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer and underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, plus a double masectomy — the removal of both breasts.
Triple-negative breast cancer makes up about 10-15 per cent of all breast cancers.
It is called triple negative because the cancer cells do not have estrogen or progesterone receptors and also do not make any or much of the protein named HER2.
Roughly 40 percent of people with stage one to three triple-negative breast cancer will have the disease recur after treatment.