A cure for pancreatic cancer could be on the horizon, according to researchers.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge believe they have found a treatment that could eradicate the disease in just one week.
Pancreatic cancer has few symptoms in its early stages and so is usually only diagnosed once it is too advanced to be tackled effectively.
As a result, it has one of the poorest prognoses of any cancer.
Doctors had struggled to defeat the illness using the body's own immune system - a method known as immunotherapy.
But researchers have recently discovered that this is because infected cells coat themselves in a ‘chemokine protein’ and form a protective barrier around the tumours.
Now, staff at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute have finally made a breakthrough that could one day lead to a cure.
A new drug called AMD3100 - also known as Plerixafor - could be used to help block the formation of the protein and break down the cancer's barrier.
The body's ‘T cells’ - which attack the cancerous cells - are then able to break through and fight the tumour.
Researchers had been testing the drug on mice but now feel it is ready to be tested on humans - with a cure potentially available within the next ten years.
Dr Douglas Fearon, from the research institute, has now claimed the breakthrough could be the first step towards a cure for many forms of the disease.