During a dinner table conversation, researcher Michael Lisanti asked his eight-year-old daughter how she would cure cancer. Young Camilla suggested using antibiotics, saying ‘like when I have a sore throat’.
Her parents, a husband-wife cancer research team were sceptical at first but tested out her theory in their Manchester University lab, England. And to their surprise, several cheap and widely-used antibiotics killed the most dangerous cancer cells.
The antibiotics fought seven of the most common cancers – including breast, prostate, lung and hard-to-treat brain tumours.
One antibiotic, doxycycline, is widely used to treat acne and is thought to be particularly promising.
Cancer charities said the research shows that the answers to some of the biggest questions are right in front of our eyes.