Scientists (pictured) used gene-editing technology to target cervical cancer tumours in mice using 'stealth' nanoparticles, and revealed the mice treated had a 100 per cent survival rate.
Queensland researchers say they can cure cervical cancer in mice using gene editing technology and are now working towards human trials.
- Mistake by Iraqi medic resulted in the discovery
- No signs of inflammation or tumours
- The treatment was trialled on mice and resulted in a 100 per cent survival rate
Australia could become the first country in the world to eliminate cervical cancer.
Researchers from Griffith University in Queensland have used gene-editing technology to target cervical cancer tumours in mice using 'stealth' nanoparticles.
Lead researcher Professor Nigel McMillan said it's the first cancer cure using this technology.
The mice treated had a 100 per cent survival rate, ABC reported, raising hopes for women with cervical cancer.
The gene-editing tool, known as CRISPR-Cas9, is injected by nanoparticles in to the patient's bloodsteam.
The nanoparticles then search for the cancer-causing gene E7 and cut the gene in half.
When the cell repairs the gene with extra DNA, the cell doesn't recognise the cancerous cells and generates a healthy cell.
Professor Nigel McMillan described the nanoparticles as being like a spell-checker.
'This is like adding a few extra letters into a word so the spell checker doesn't recognise it anymore. The cancer must have this gene to produce, once edited, the cancer dies.
'We looked for lots of markers, inflammation and damage, but they were perfectly fine, so this is very exciting.'
Professor McMillan, together with research partner Luqman Jabair, have applied for a grant to begin human trails within the next five years.
'There are still many steps to go through before we get to the clinic stage, but I think this really proves that gene editing is going to be proved to be useful,' Professor McMillan said.
The study was published in Molecular Therapy.
"He went away and did something I did not really ask him to do and he added extra treatments [injections] into the regime and it turned out to be the lightbulb moment," Professor McMillan said.
"Our normal series of three treatments slowed the cancer down, but when he [Dr Jubair] added the extra four after that, it [the tumour] completely disappeared.
"And just as well he did use some initiative, because without him doing that we would probably just have a pretty average outcome where tumours sort of slow down a bit and then keep growing.
"So three was good, but seven was even better — the magic number — it was a very serendipitous moment in science and they do not come along very often."
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If we can get this perfected, this is going to be a very significant step forward. Sure, it might mean you need seven injections, but tbh, I'd prefer the injections over cancer.
And cancer dearly needs a good ass kicking.