Experts at Imperial College London have apparently discovered what makes cancer cells spread.
They are now assessing drugs to stop the process in a breakthrough that could save thousands of lives every year.
"Drugs which aim to kill tumour cells do the job but often they also affect healthy tissues and only work for a limited time because cancer cells are clever - they can change and come back, the Daily Express quoted lead researcher Mustafa Djamgoz, as saying.
"We believe this research will convert cancer into a disease that can be controlled like diabetes and one that people can live with rather than die of," he said.
Djamgoz said the new approach could treat many cancers including breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, cervical and bowel.
He discovered that aggressive cancer cells are charged with "over-excitable" electrical activity which has "gone haywire".
"This excitation accelerates the unsociable behaviour of cancer cells, destroying and digesting healthy cells and surrounding tissues," he added.
The team would begin the process of clinical trials next year and hopes to have a product that can limit cancer within five years.