UCL News


Bleach may help to beat cancer

2 March 2006

Bleach might prove key to fighting cancer, as new research suggests it boosts the efficacy of cancer vaccines.

Vaccines traditionally work by training the body's immune system to recognise and destroy cancerous tissues. …

Researchers at UCL have found that the immune system reacts more strongly to dead cancer cells if they have been killed with hypochlorous acid, the active compound in bleach. Researchers think that the immune system is geared to recognise cells killed in this way because immune cells destroy bacteria and other antigens by producing microscopic quantities of a compound that is chemically identical to bleach. …

Professor Benny Chain [UCL Immunology & Molecular Pathology] said: "This experiment was done very much on a shoe-string budget. It is very low-tech ... but [it] has produced some very exciting results".

Eben Harrell, 'The Scotsman', 2 March 2006