New weapon in the fight against cervical cancer

A vaccine targeting cervical cancer tumours could become a crucial aid in the fight against the ­disease, a study has suggested.

The dose, given intravenously, aims to train the immune system to recognise and attack tumour cells.

Better treatments are still needed for cervical cancer despite a jab for human papilloma virus (HPV) – the main cause of the disease – having slashed cases by almost 90 per cent in England since 2008.

The shot is administered to schoolchildren aged 11 to 13.

A report on the tumour vaccine study said: “Even single low doses of the vaccines elicited strong immune responses and led to complete tumour regression in 80 per cent of the mice at advanced stages.”

In the research – published in the journal Science Translational Medicine and presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting – experts had tested three mRNA vaccines in mice.

The cutting-edge mRNA technology was used in several Covid jabs, including those produced by Pfizer and Moderna.

Researchers explained that one of the ­vaccines which was self-amplifying – which means the RNA can ­replicate after delivery – seemed the most promising.

But all three triggered the desired cell responses.

Study author Professor Luis Carlos de Souza Ferreira, of the University of Sao Paulo, said it was hoped the intravenous inoculation would enter human trials soon.

He added: “This kind of vaccine will add an extra tool in order to face the problem of cancer caused by HPV.”

“The present available vaccines are very efficient to control infection.”

“But they do not have any impact for people already infected or those suffering with precursor lesions or tumours caused by this virus.”

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