A vaccine that could stop prostate cancer in its tracks has been unveiled by scientists.
The vaccine treats the disease by stimulating the immune system to kill cancer cells.
The scientists found the jab stopped tumours from spreading for 77 per cent of cancer patients in a clinical trial.
Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer among males, affecting one in eight men in the UK and one in seven in the US.
‘At the end of the nine-month reporting period for the study, 17 patients had clinically stable disease,’ the scientists from the Norwegian Radium Hospital said in a research paper.
As part of the study, 22 men with prostate cancer were recruited to take part in a Phase I clinical trial.
Phase I trails are the first step in developing a new treatment and are undertaken to find out if drugs can cause cancers to shrink, according to Cancer Research UK.
The new vaccine works by stimulating the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, in a type of treatment known as immunotherapy.
Immunotherapy has offered promise for new treatments because it does not carry the harsh side effects of traditional therapies such as chemo and radiotherapy.
‘In the field of immunotherapy, prostate cancer has seen much promise and potential in changing the way this disease is treated and cured,’ Dr Sumit Subudhi from the University of Texas writes for the Cancer Research Institute.
‘Most current developing immunotherapies for prostate cancer are investigating the more targeted treatment of advanced stage disease.’
It is not yet known when the vaccine could be available to the public, but it typically takes 10 to 15 years for drugs to pass through all clinical trial phases.
The research was published in Cancer Immunology.