Cancer vaccine that actually works developed

Well this is some exciting news: a group of medical researchers from the U.S. and U.K. have developed a vaccine that successfully cures prostate cancer. In rats. But still, it's an amazing step forward.

Here's how it works, according to io9:

The researchers injected the mice with virus shells (the outer skin of viruses) packed with "libraries" of DNA made up partly of DNA taken from healthy prostate. The researchers believed that delivering the DNA inside viruses would essentially trick the mouse immune system, sending it into overdrive to produce antibodies tailor-made to attack cancers of the prostate. And their theory turned out to be correct. The mice produced antibodies which attacked their cancerous tumors, effectively eliminating the cancer. Because this vaccine's DNA libraries were tailor-made for prostate cancer, however, it also prevented the mice from producing antigens that attacked other organs in their bodies.

In theory, if they're able to work out the kinks on this it shouldn't be a huge leap to develop vaccines for other forms of cancer using antibodies specific to each type. The next step is making a version of the virus/vaccine for human testing, which may begin in as soon as two years, although these things always tend to be delayed. Fingers crossed, humanity!

After this, let's get crackin' on the common cold, OK?

ScienceDaily via io9

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