by Catholic Online -
A vaccine that can shrink tumors is being hailed as a breakthrough against the deadliest cancers. The vaccine targets specific cancer cells, killing them, which is something scientists have tried to do for decades.
Tested on breast, bowel, ovarian and pancreatic cancers, the recent findings have enormous implications for thousands of patients struck down by these afflictions, which have among the lowest survival rates.
Scientists will begin the first human trials by 2013, and if successful, the vaccine could be available in as soon as five years.
According to accepted medical knowledge, when cells become cancerous, sugars on their surface undergo distinct changes that set them apart from healthy cells. The cancer vaccine works by conforming the body’s immune system to recognize these sugary proteins called MUC1 in cancer cells. The vaccine leaves healthy cells alone. MUC1 is found on more than 70 per cent of deadly cancers. [Read more...]