GM skin cells may provide cancer treatment

UK scientists have discovered that genetically modified skin cells could be used as a cancer treatment.

Researchers at University College London conducted a study using mice to discover if their skin cells could be used to treat neuroblastoma tumours, which account for 15 per cent of childhood cancer deaths.

They injected skin cells into the tumours and found that this stimulated the immune system, helping the mice to fight the cancer and improving survival by over 90 days in some cases.

Lead researcher Dr Stephen Hart said that the technique would be "much easier" than previously suggested treatments.

"These cells can be taken by a routine skin punch biopsy, grown in the lab then genetically modified before injecting into the tumour site," he told BBC News.

Neuroblastoma is a very rare form of cancer, being diagnosed in around 100 children each year in the UK, the majority of whom are under the age of five.

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