Putin Clams They’re Nearing Success On Cancer Breakthrough

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is on the verge of producing a cancer vaccine. Speaking at a Moscow forum on future technologies, Mr. Putin said he hopes the drug will be available to patients soon, but he did not explain what the vaccine was, what cancers it prevented, or how it worked.

A cure or method of preventing cancer is one of the leading medical research areas and milestones have been reached in recent years. There are now six licensed vaccines against human papillomaviruses (HPV) which is known to cause several cancers, and a vaccine against hepatitis B, which causes liver cancer.

American drug manufacturers Moderna and Merck & Co are currently working on a vaccine that experiments so far have shown cuts the chance of recurrence or death from the deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma. The new vaccine is hoped will cut the likelihood of recurrence or death in half.

The National Cancer Institute warns however that there is still no cure for the deadly disease, that kills more than 600,000 Americans every year. Nevertheless, there are treatments for many cancers available, which can send the disease into remission and significantly lengthen people’s lives.

Most cancers are treated with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, and some tumors can be removed with surgery before spreading to vital organs.

Chemotherapy works by killing the cancer cells inside the body, but it is often accompanied by unpleasant or even dangerous side effects. These include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, fatigue and loss of appetite. More seriously, chemotherapy can cause lung damage, infertility and heart problems.

Radiation therapy involves using laser focussed beams of energy to kill the cancer cells while protecting surrounding healthy tissue. It likewise comes with several side effects, including hair loss, concentration problems, digestive difficulties, and excessive fatigue.

More than a million Americans are treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy every year, most commonly for breast cancer, prostate cancer, and mesothelioma, which affects the lining of organs.