Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

France's Plan to Tackle Racism

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Marine Le Pen and Thomas Piketty in Time magazine's power list; EU takes on Google; Gunter Grass dies (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deadly Crossing: Migrants desperate to reach Europe; Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Xenophobic attacks in South Africa: anti-violence marches and anti immigration protest

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French PM outlines action plan against racism, anti-Semitism

Read more

REPORTERS

Turkey’s hidden Armenians search for stolen identity

Read more

REVISITED

Families of slain Marikana miners still demanding justice

Read more

#TECH 24

Europe vs. Google: EU accuses search giant of market dominance abuse

Read more

#THE 51%

Women in America: Land of the free, home to the less-paid

Read more

Breakthrough in skin cancer

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-11-16

A scientist who developed a cervical cancer vaccine has revealed a major breakthrough in the research against skin cancer. Professor Ian Frazer of the University of Queensland will start human tests in 2009 following successful tests on animals.

An Australian scientist who developed a vaccine for cervical cancer said Sunday a vaccine which could prevent some skin cancers may be possible within a decade.
  
Professor Ian Frazer said that tests of the vaccine on animals had proven successful and that human trials could begin as soon as next year.
  
"We can teach the immune system the trick it needs to fight the viruses that cause these skin cancers relatively easily with a vaccine, but getting them to go to the right place and do the right thing is the challenge," he told reporters in Brisbane.
  
"And what we've learned is a trick where we can overcome that particular block."
  
Frazer, who will deliver his findings to the Australian Health and Medical Research Congress on Monday, said the vaccine would protect against squamous cell carcinoma but not the more deadly melanomas.
  
He said a vaccine developed from the research, which began in 1985, was still a decade away.
  
"It's taken us that long to understand how the immune system works in the skin so that we can make the necessary steps to get the breakthrough," the Queensland University researcher said.
  
"If it works in humans it will be a major step forward."
  
The vaccine would be used on children aged between 10 and 12 to prevent them from developing skin cancer -- a disease which causes some 1,600 deaths in Australia each year.
  
Close to 400,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the sunburnt country each year, and cancer specialists said even if the vaccine worked on humans, people should not stop protecting themselves from the sun.
  
David Currow, the head of Cancer Australia, a government body which assists with research and education, warned that the vaccine may not prevent all skin cancers.
  
"As we've seen with cervical cancer, although it may deal with 70 percent of cancers of the cervix, the vaccine doesn't deal with the other 30 percent," he told ABC radio.
  
"And so it is with a vaccine related to skin cancer. The message is still that one of the most powerful things that we can do is reduce the risk by reducing our exposure to sunlight."
  

Date created : 2008-11-16

COMMENT(S)