Tobacco Used in Cancer Vaccine

Scientists who developed HPV vaccine work on a cheaper version—±±
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 30, 2007 11:21 AM CDT
Gardasil, used in the U.S. to prevent strains of an STD that causes most cervical cancer, is the model for a new product for India, extracted from an unlikely natural source.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – The same researchers who developed Gardasil—the vaccine that can prevent cervical cancer—have genetically engineered tobacco plants to produce a cheaper version of the vaccine. The new drug, designed for distribution in India and other poor countries, would cost $3 for three doses, as opposed to $360 for Gardasil, reports USA Today.

The genetically engineered tobacco would be grown in special greenhouses and then  "juiced"; the vaccine—which protects against HPV, a sexually transmitted disease—could then be extracted from the liquid. In India, four times as many women get cervical cancer and eight times as many die from it as in the US.