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50 Years Ago

Cancer vaccine in near future foreseen

Excerpt from the December 21, 1963 issue of SCIENCE NEWS LETTER

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The dream of developing a cancer vaccine will come true, perhaps in the near future…. The whole field of cancer research is “blooming” with a fertility not contemplated even two years ago, Dr. Alexander Haddow of the University of London and the Chester Beatty Research Institute said in Washington, D.C.

Perhaps within ten years, he told a meeting of the American Society of Hematology, research in seemingly separate fields will come together and point to the fundamental principle in the formation of body cancers. Then immunization studies can proceed full speed.


Fifty years later, only two types of vaccines are approved in the United States for preventing cancer — one that prevents infection with hepatitis B, which causes liver cancer, and another that protects against strains of the human papillomavirus that cause cervical cancer. Fewer than half of adolescent girls in the United States have been fully vaccinated against HPV.

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