Testing a Vaccine for Cancer Prevention in People with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutation

January 31, 2024

In 2013, Angelina Jolie made the brave decision to get a prophylactic mastectomy (which means she got her breast tissue removed) as a result of a blood test result that revealed she has a genetic mutation BRCA1. In 2015, she got her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed. Both surgeries were done in an attempt to prevent cancer from forming in her body. People with the BRCA genetic mutations have a significantly heightened chance of developing Breast, Ovary, Pancreatic, and Prostate cancers.The typical medical recommendation for those who have the variant is to follow suit with what Jolie did, and have those parts removed. These surgeries can have severe psychological and physical effects on women and until now, there hasn’t been much hope for options outside of preventative surgeries.

A new study is being conducted to see whether a vaccine is effective and safe for those who have inherited the mutation. This is promising, because it could offer an alternative to the surgery route or just risking developing cancer.

The University of Pennsylvania is still looking for participants. If you know anyone with BRCA1 or BRCA2, please share this with them.