October 9, 2019 - 14:17 AMT
Australian researchers say they cured cervical cancer in mice

Australian researchers are one step closer to finding a cure for cervical cancer having killed off tumours in mice using gene-editing technology, as part of a world-first study, 7News reports.

The scientists from Griffiths University used a technology that changes the sequence of DNA in cells to correct the mutation, called CRISPR-Cas9.

"This is the first cure for any cancer using this technology,'' lead researcher Professor Nigel McMillan said.

They used the technology to target and treat the cervical cancer tumours in mice - using “stealth” nanoparticles.

These nanoparticles were used to target a gene called E7.

E7 is found in cancer which is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

"The nanoparticles search out the cancer-causing gene in cancer cells and 'edit it', by introducing some extra DNA that causes the gene to be misread and stop being made,'' McMillan said.

"This is like adding a few extra letters into a word, so the spell checker doesn't recognise it anymore."

Once it's edited, the cancer dies as it must have this gene to produce.