A woman from Florida is celebrating her new lease of life after she successfully won the battle against breast cancer with a trial vaccine.
Lee Mercker was diagnosed with a very early stage of breast cancer, DCIS stage zero, and she has been through a lot in the past few months. The news shocked the woman from Jacksonville as she had been leading a healthy life and the prospect of potentially meeting this disease was incomprehensible. Thankfully, though, her decision to join a new clinical trial for a vaccine that removes the cancer cells proved to be one of the best decisions of her life and can be one that can potentially save millions of women.
Fox 35 reports that Mercker was diagnosed with breast cancer in March this year, and she said she got mad because she was otherwise healthy. She was stunned, and everyone around her was even more stunned. Mercker had always maintained a healthy and active lifestyle, and hadn’t possibly imagined that she might one day have to fight off something as dangerous as cancer. However, she realized that cancer can knock on anybody’s door.
Mercker went to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville in order to start her treatment, and her doctor laid out 3 options for her. She could either go to the traditional route and undergo a lumpectomy, which would remove the cancer cells. The other choice was mastectomy, where the breasts are removed, and the third option was a bit more unconventional: it involved her joining a clinical trial for a vaccine that could prevent the cancer cells from coming back.
Mercker chose the third option that day.
Dr. Saranya Chumsri revealed that the revolutionary vaccine helps the body fight cancer cells, and 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.
She added that the treatment involved getting vaccinated for 12 weeks, and everyone in the trial was overjoyed when the vaccine showed positive results and Mercker was declared cancer-free.
Dr. Keith Knutson from the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville revealed that the vaccine worked exactly as they had hoped it would, and Mercker’s recovery was groundbreaking.
However, even though Mercker was cancer-free, she still underwent a double mastectomy in order to make sure the cancerous cells were completely out of her body since the vaccine was just a trial.