New vaccination may prevent cancer reoccurrence - FOX 32 News Chicago

New vaccination may prevent cancer reoccurrence

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Jackie Peterson Jackie Peterson
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Jackie Peterson couldn't believe it when she got her diagnosis that she tested positive for stage-3 breast cancer.

"Cancer is frightening, you're terrified, cancer means it can be other places, cancer means you are going to die," said Peterson.

Peterson's an operating nurse who helps cancer patients, but that didn't make her diagnosis any easier.

"Terrifying, you don't think it's going to happen to you. Breast cancer is something I take care of, not that I get," added Peterson.

However, she did, six months of chemo and a mastectomy. Now, she wants to make sure it never comes back by becoming patient number one in a new trial of a cancer vaccine to prevent recurrence.

"I'm number one. Am I afraid of being number one? No it's an amazing treatment. They're using my white blood cells to make a serum," said Peterson.

Dr. Brian Czerniecki is developing the cancer vaccine. He said it works by priming the immune system to attack cancer like it's an infection. In the first two trials, the results were dramatic.

"We can actually see tumors dying. We can actually see ducts look like ghosts from where tumor cells were…20% no disease can even see, as a result of vaccination," said Dr. Czerniecki.

For the past seven years, he's been studying women with Peterson's type of cancer. It's called DCIS, which are abnormal cells in the milk ducts. Dr. Czerniecki creates a personalized vaccine from the patient's own cells.

"I'm really excited," added Peterson.

Dr. Czerniecki thinks society is on the verge of treatment and prevention for many cancer patients.

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