Skin cancer vaccine may be available within 1 year

Last Updated: Monday, August 1, 2011 - 00:00

Melbourne: An Australian scientist is on the verge of creating the world’s first skin cancer vaccine.

Prof Ian Frazer, the former Australian of the Year and creator of the world’s first cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, hopes to developed the vaccine within a year

The 57-year-old immunology professor has developed a world-first strategy to combat the insidious disease that affects two out of three Australians.

“In my lifetime we should be able to remove the threat of skin cancer from the next generation,” quoted him as saying.

Prof Frazer believes people can “catch” cancer from a virus.

He proved his theory by identifying the human papilloma virus (HPV) as the cause of cervical cancer and then developing a vaccine against the virus to rid the female population of the cancer.

Now he is using a similar tactic to try to combat skin cancer, including malignant melanomas.

“This group of cancers caused by virus infection present a great opportunity because the idea of vaccinating to prevent a cancer is enormously appealing,” he said.


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First Published: Monday, August 1, 2011 - 00:00

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