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Cancer jab that will ‘seek and destroy’ tumours developed
London, Jun 20 (AGENCIES):
Published on 21 Jun. 2011 12:57 AM IST
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Researchers have discovered a cancer jab that can wipe out tumours. The revolutionary treatment, which has been hailed as a major step forward in tackling the disease, stimulates the immune system so that it seeks out and destroys cancer cells.
The vaccine will not fully cure cancer but researchers believe it will help make the disease more like a chronic illness than a merciless killer.
Cancer victims given the jab should be able to live much longer with the disease under control.
Scientists from Cancer Research UK and the University of Leeds discovered a DNA-based way to activate the immune system to kill tumours without any side-effects.
“The biggest challenge in immunology is developing antigens (immune system triggers) that can target the tumour without causing harm elsewhere. By using DNA from the same part of the body as the tumour, inserted into a virus, we may be able to solve that problem,” the Daily Express quoted Prof Alan Melcher, author of the study based at the Cancer Research UK Centre at the University of Leeds, as saying.
“This may not be a cure but it will get the cancer under control meaning people will live longer with it under control. Cancer will become more of a chronic illness than a death sentence,” he added.
It is hoped clinical trials could begin in as little as two or three years. If shown to be as successful in humans, it could help people to live tumour-free with fewer side- effects than those experienced from current therapies.
The finding has been published in Nature Medicine.

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