Not all colorectal tumors produce abnormal MUC1, Schoen told MIT Technology Review, and there’s no way to tell in advance which ones will. That means it could still be theoretically possible to develop cancer even with an effective vaccine. A patient might be at risk for tumors that don't make the excessive MUC1 the vaccine targets.
That means it's not clear if the vaccine could make colonoscopies unnecessary, Mack Ruffin IV, professor of family medicine and a research scientist in epidemiology at the University of Michigan, told the MIT publication. “If they still need colonoscopies, we haven’t done anything but add extra cost and side effects to managing people with polyps.”
News of the possible vaccine comes at a time when cancer deaths are decreasing slightly. Science Daily reported this week that overall cancer death rates have been declining since the early 1990s, based on a report from the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Their collaborative report is published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Between 2000 and 2009, cancer death rates dropped by 1.8 percent per year among men and by 1.4 percent per year among women. Death rates among children up to 14 years of age also continued to decrease by 1.8 percent each year. Men saw decreases in 10 of the 17 most common cancers: lung, prostate, colon and rectum, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, kidney, stomach, myeloma, oral cavity and pharynx, and larynx, while liver, pancreas and skin melanoma cancers increased.
At the same time, fewer women died of 15 of the 18 most common cancers: lung, breast, colon and rectum, ovary, leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, brain and other nervous system, myeloma, kidney, stomach, cervix, bladder, esophagus, oral cavity and pharynx, and gallbladder. Death rates for pancreas, liver and uterine cancer rose.
- Mitt Romney talks IRS, AP records, Benghazi...
- Fly a flag for Cody: Army confirms Utah man...
- Republicans try to link IRS scandal, Obama's...
- LDS missionary 'stable' following hit-and-run...
- Navy dolphins discover rare 19th-century torpedo
- 'Star Trek: Into Darkness' does $70.6M but...
- White House insists Obama was not involved in...
- Tea party looks to take advantage of moment
- Mitt Romney talks IRS, AP records,... 63
- Journalists push back against Obama... 21
- Angry Orrin Hatch: IRS guilty of... 19
- White House insists Obama was not... 18
- House chairman sees IRS targeting as... 16
- Republicans try to link IRS scandal,... 12
- President Obama walking a familiar path... 11
- Tea party looks to take advantage of... 10