Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Lund University in Sweden have bio-engineered a molecule which can kill 40 different types of tumor cells.
The molecule is based on a natural protein present in human breast milk.
The molecule, known as HAMLET (Human Alpha-lactabumin Made Lethal to Tumour cells), has been found to attack tumor cells such as brain tumors and bladder cancer, leaving healthy cells intact.
Researchers found that laboratory mice, genetically modified to develop colon cancer, were protected to a large extent when fed HAMLET-laced water.
Clinical trials on human skin papillomas and human urinary bladder cancer conducted in Sweden have also shown promising results.
There are plans to conduct human trials in Singapore.
After completing various trials, scientists hope to develop a commercially-available product for cancer treatment in the next five to ten years.