Scientists in the US have developed a vaccine to fight ovarian cancer, and it has shown encouraging results in preliminary trials.
The vaccine developed by scientists led by Kunle Odunsi at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo enhances the body's own immune response to the cancer, reported the online edition of BBC News.
The researchers tested the vaccine in women with epithelial ovarian cancer, a type of cancer that originates on the covering of the ovaries.
"There is now compelling evidence that the immune system has the capacity to recognise and kill ovarian cancer cells. We are confident that the vaccine will eventually be widely available," Odunsi said.
Ovarian cancer is the development of a tumour on or within an ovary. It usually happens in women who are over 50 years of age but it can also affect younger women. Its cause is unknown. Treatment is usually surgery followed by treatment with medicines.
Most patients with advanced disease respond to drug treatments but more than 70 percent die from a recurrence of the cancer within five years of diagnosis.
It is the fourth most common type of cancer in women and fifth leading cause of cancer death in the US. In India, according to the Indian Council of Medical Research, the crude incidence rate of this cancer is 4.2 per 100,000 women.