Researchers have taken the first steps toward developing a vaccine to prevent cancer in people with Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition that elevates a person’s risk of colorectal, endometrial, and other types of cancer. The scientists, led by Steven Lipkin, M.D., Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medicine, reported results from NCI-funded tests of a cancer prevention vaccine at a recent meeting. The vaccine prevented the growth of colorectal tumors in a mouse model of Lynch syndrome and prolonged the mice’s survival compared with unvaccinated mice. “The simplicity of this approach means that it is promising to take forward” to a human vaccine, Dr. Lipkin said during a press briefing April 1 at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in Atlanta. As the cost of genetic testing decreases and more people get tested for hereditary cancer syndromes, researchers are learning that Lynch syndrome is more common than once thought. It is currently estimated that 1 in every 280 Americans has the disorder, which translates to about 1.1 million people. Current methods for preventing cancer in people with Lynch syndrome include frequent cancer screenings to detect precancer or early-stage cancer, low-dose aspirin for colorectal cancer preventionExit Disclaimer, and risk-reducing surgery. A vaccine could offer another, potentially more efficient, way to hinder cancer development. “The holy grail is a [cancer] cure. A holier grail is [cancer] prevention,” said cancer immunology expert Louis M. Weiner, M.D., director of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, at the press briefing.