TAMPA — We've all been affected by cancer in one way or another.
Now, we're getting our first look at a medical breakthrough taking place right here in Tampa Bay.
New research could wipe out cancer with a simple vaccine.
Imagine this -- a world where you can go to the doctor to get a cancer vaccine like you would a vaccine for chickenpox.
If researchers at Tampa-based Morphogenesis have their way, that reality is a lot closer than you think.
“The future of what we can do here has so much implications, not just for my family, but for humanity,” said Steve Hazell, in the veterinary oncology services business development department at Morphogenesis.
Hazell says the company is on the verge of a real breakthrough.
They're starting human clinical trials at Moffitt Cancer Center for cancer vaccines after years of working to cure cancer in animals like dogs, cats, and horses.
“Three of her teeth actually fell out because of the tumors,” said Emily Holman looking at her golden retriever Paquita.
She said Paquita had malignant melanoma in her gums, and since the treatment from Morphogenesis veterinary arm, it's reduced and stop spreading completely.
“She acts like a normal dog. She eats normal, she plays,” Holman said.
Researchers take a sample of the cancer cells, and use that to create a cocktail to make your immune system recognize it's under attack and wake up to fight the cancer.
So the work Morphogenesis is doing to create cancer vaccines for horses, dogs and cats could lead to the next cancer breakthrough for humans -- tailor-made vaccines for people who are suffering.
Barbara Bagby is now on hospice after a battle with stage four ovarian cancer. This research gives her hope for future patients.
“I'm hoping it will help others that aren't as far advanced as me,” Bagby said.