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Tobacco may treat cervical cancer

Published on July 30th, 2007 19:07

Cancer is one of the most terrible diseases. Every year thousands of people die all over the world.

In Kentucky, a researcher studies a possible drug that can prevent cervical cancer in India. Annually, in this state four times more women get the disease in comparison with the USA and eight times many die of it than in the United States.

Though the medicine known as Gardasil already exists, these new findings will cost much cheaper. Researchers of the same University of Louisville, who invented Gardasil, Dr. A. Bennett Jenson and Shin-je Ghim, are also working on this new vaccine.

Also, Louisville researchers had an Indian researcher Dr. Partha Basu in their team. Together they make different experimental treatment tests for late-stage cervical cancer.

Vaccine extracted from tobacco would cost $3 for three doses, compared with $360 for three doses of Gardasil. Difference of price increases the changes to acquire this medicine by developing states where cervical cancer is also widely spread, as is India where the disease is the most common malignancy among women.

“It's important to me because it turned out to be something special in medicine,” Jenson, who developed Gardasil and another researcher when they worked together at Georgetown University, said. “And it's not going to reach the people who need it most.”

India suffers a lot from this disease. “Every year, 120,000 new cervical cancer cases are detected in India, 80 percent of which are at such an advanced stage that they can't be treated, the head of the department of gynecologic oncology at Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), Basu said. “Naturally, there are nearly 80,000 deaths from cervical cancer every year. This may be an underestimate as many deaths go unreported.”