London: In what could be called a major
breakthrough, scientists claim to have created a jab which can
cure even the most deadly cancers -- by shrinking tumours and
stopping them from spreading.
The injection, which is already being tested on
patients with breast, bowel, pancreatic, cervical and ovarian
cancers, could hit the market in as little as five years, its
creator Prof Ray Iles of Middlesex University said.
The drug, which is being developed in conjunction
with US firm Celldex Therapeutics, revs up the immune system,
directing it to destroy Human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG
which is made by some breast, bowel, ovarian, cervical tumours
and around half of bladder and pancreatic cancers.
The drug shrinks tumours and, crucially, stops them
from spreading, or metastasising, the `Daily Mail` reported.
Prof Iles said: "Not only are you causing the
cancer to shrink, it is not metastasising. If you come in with
chemotherapy and surgery, you`ve got a cure."
Tests on animals have already had "extremely good"
results and preliminary trials on people show it to be safe.
The jab is now being given to 60 men and women newly diagnosed
with bladder cancer.
Further, larger trials will be needed before it is
deemed suitable for wide fertility-spread use. Professor Iles
said: "The vaccine has the potential to help us make rapid
advances in the treatment of this invasive cancer."
The destruction of hCG would also mean the jab acted
as a contraceptive. However, women`s fertility should return
to normal within a year after completing treatment.