A vaccine which uses the immune system to fight cancer in humans could be in the pipeline, scientists have claimed.
Researchers at the University of Leeds, funded by Cancer Research UK, have used a library of DNA to create a vaccine that could be used to treat cancer.
They administered a library of DNA taken from healthy prostate tissue in mice which, when delivered in a virus, successfully treated mice with prostate cancer.
However, the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) has said that most attempts to create a 'magic bullet' cancer vaccine have failed.
Nevertheless, Dr Mark Matfield, scientific co-ordinator at the AICR said that it is an important advance.
"It shows that this approach - using a library vaccine - works in a model system. This could be used for almost any type of cancer, if it can be developed to the point where it works in man," he said.
But developing the vaccine would be difficult, he said, as most research stumbles when taking it from mice to humans.