The latest cancer vaccine has an unexpected target – it triggers an immune system attack on growing blood vessels rather than tumours. This cuts off the blood supply cancers need to grow.
Cancer cells have evaded previous vaccines by constantly mutating, but the new vaccine avoids this by targeting the healthy blood vessel cells associated with the tumours. And the same vaccine could be given to everyone, instead of having to be tailored to target specific cancers.
Trials of drugs that block the growth of tumour blood vessels have not been very successful, and the drug has to be taken continuously. But one dose of the vaccine might provide long-term protection, the latest experiments suggest.