Medical scientists at the University of Alabama have come a step closer to the coveted "magic bullet" cure for cancer.
"It has long been the holy grail to create an effective cancer treatment that can be loaded into a gun and fired directly at the patient." Explains Head of Balistic Oncology, Dr Bruce Howard of Birmingham, AL yesterday.
Research into the revolutionary treatment began in the early 1990s with funding influenced by US foreign policy in Iraq and Bosnia. Now with US plans for Syria, says Dr Howard, they are even more convinced of the efficacy of the treatment.
The cancer-busting bullets are deployed using a modified M-950/Liberty III 9mm semi-automatic machine pistol which features a 100 round magazine, adjustable sights and a delayed blowback action. Patients can be treated from an effecive range of 300 yards.
"Different forms of the treatment would obviously be needed for different types of cancers." Explains Dr Howard. "Skin cancer, for example, would need a lot of bullets while something like testicular cancer would only need two bullets at most, but a much steadier aim."
Dr Howard's research has received an enthusiastic response from the US Food and Drug Administration. A spokesperson for the FDA said "This is exactly the kind of effective, reasonable measure that will strike at cancer, sending a strong message that it must never harm another American life."
Though the technique is in its early stages, Dr Howard says that preliminary experiments with infected rats have shown promising results. "We removed 100% of cancerous tissue from the rats, the aim is now to retain the rest of the healthy animal as well."