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A revolutionary ‘Trojan horse’ drug has successfully treated British patients with six different forms of cancer, scientists have revealed.
It is hoped the jab may help cure, or at least prolong the lives, of people with some of the most common and lethal tumours – within five years.
It hides a toxic chemical inside an antibody in order to sneak it inside a tumour and attack it from within.
More than a quarter of cervical and bladder cancer patients responded even though their illness was well advanced and considered untreatable.
The new therapy, administered intravenously, also worked against ovarian, lung, gullet and womb tumours, reports the team.
A bigger trial involving hundreds of patients with other types of cancer is already underway owing to the “early promise”.
Study leader Professor Johann de Bono, of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said this includes tumours of the bowel, pancreas, head and neck.
He said: “What is so exciting about this treatment is its mechanism of action is completely novel – it acts like a Trojan horse to sneak into cancer cells and kill them from the inside.
“Our early study shows it has the potential to treat a large number of different types of cancer, and particularly some of those with very poor survival rates.”