Doctors at Mayo Clinic of Jacksonville in Florida have discovered and tested a new vaccine in clinical trials that can help kill cancer cells. And Florida woman Lee Mercker of Florida becomes the first person to participate in the clinical trial and get completely rid of the cancerous cells within her body.
Lee Mercker was diagnosed with breast cancer this year in March. Mercker said that it was DCIS stage zero breast cancer, that is, cancer cells had not yet spread in her body.
“I’m an exercise fanatic, I eat right. But it just can knock on anybody’s door,” said Mercker.
As the cancer was in its extremely early stage and the cells had not yet spread in her body, Mercker was left with three options.
• She could either undergo lumpectomy and get the cancer cells removed
• Or she could undergo mastectomy and get her breasts removed
• Or she could go for a clinical trial of a newly discovered vaccine that might save her life.
Mercker finally decided to go for a clinical trial of the new vaccine. It was a twelve week-long clinical process that she had to undergo.
Talking about the working of the new vaccine, Dr. Saranya Chumsri of Mayo Clinic said that it’s supposed to stimulate a patient’s own immune response so that the immune cells like t-cells would go in and attack cancer.
The vaccine was successful in performing its task. However, Mercker had to still undergo mastectomy because, as Dr. Chumsri said, it was the only way that the doctors could confirm that everything hazardous was removed and Mercker was out of danger. Moreover, now the doctors could study the removed tissue to better understand the working of the new vaccine.