Washington University gets grant for breast cancer study

Thursday, April 14, 2011 | 5:39 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Washington University in St. Louis is getting a $6.5 million grant for research on a vaccine to reduce recurrence in breast cancer survivors.

The grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure was announced Thursday.

William Gillanders at Washington University is leading the effort in St. Louis to develop a personalized breast cancer vaccine. The university says the grant will allow for the use of new technologies to identify unique tumor antigens, the genetic changes that make a woman's breast cancer cells different from her normal cells.

The university says the goal is a vaccine that allows the patient's own immune system to find those genetic changes and destroy the breast cancer cells.

The Dallas-based Komen organization announced other grants as well, amounting to $55 million.

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