By: Victoria Fletcher
05 November 2010
A CANCER vaccine has come a step nearer thanks to scientists who have identified a type of cell that helps tumours to thrive.
Despite repeated attempts to create a cancer vaccine, none has proved fully effective.
Now scientists at Cambridge University have discovered why.
A successful vaccine works by priming the body’s immune system to attack disease.
But the researchers have pinpointed a cell type in cancer victims that prevents the body’s immune system from killing tumours.
Mice which were bred without this cell were able to fight off cancer with their immune system.
The team say they now need to identify what this cell does to block the immune system and then see if they can halt this process without causing any other damage to the body. After that it should be possible to create a working vaccine.