Researchers Using Tobacco In Cancer Vaccine Study

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) - Researchers in western Kentucky are trying to coax a drug from tobacco plants that could be used in preventing cervical cancer in India.

The vaccine would be similar to Gardasil, which the federal government approved last year, to stop strains of the sexually transmitted diseases that cause cervical cancer.

Doctors A. Bennett Jenson and Shin-je Ghim, two University of Louisville researchers who helped invent Gardasil, are working on the tobacco-based vaccine.

If successful, the tobacco-based method is estimated to cost about three dollars for three doses, compared to about three-hundred-60 dollars for three doses of Gardasil.

Doctor Partha Basu, a researcher at the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata says in India there are about one-hundred-20-thousand new cervical cancer cases each year.

About 80-percent of those, Basu says, are untreatable.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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