Vaccine hope for breast cancer
Steve Connor is the Science Editor of The Independent. He has won many awards for his journalism, including five-times winner of the prestigious British science writers’ award; the David Perlman Award of the American Geophysical Union; twice commended as specialist journalist of the year in the UK Press Awards; UK health journalist of the year and a special merit award of the European School of Oncology for his investigative journalism. He has a degree in zoology from the University of Oxford and has a special interest in genetics and medical science, human evolution and origins, climate change and the environment.
Tuesday 13 December 2011
Scientists have developed a vaccine against cancer that reduces the size of breast tumours by more than 80 per cent when tested on laboratory mice.
The vaccine works by stimulating the body's immune system to recognise a unique kind of sugar molecule that sticks out from the surface of the cancerous cells. The immune system then attacks the tumour, leaving healthy tissue undamaged.
Further tests on animals will be necessary before the vaccine can be tried on humans. The study, at the University of Georgia, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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