This is my understanding; I am not a doctor.
A virus is a foreign pathogen that uses a host cell's internal mechanisms to reproduce the viral DNA and viral shells, at the expense of reproducing the cell's own DNA and cell wall materials.
A cancer cell reproduces other cancerous cells; one of the prime features of malignant cancer is that the reproduction process runs rampant. The cells churn out broken DNA which will guide the production of more cancerous cells.
A vaccine may indeed be suitable for fighting cancers, if the immune system can be trained to discriminate between cancerous cellular products and normal cellular products.
The other very promising area of research is that of blood vessel destruction. We may all have many very tiny cancerous tumors in us, all the time. Normally, they cannot grow beyond a certain point because the normal blood vessels won't grow into a tumor, and the inner cells can't thrive. A detected malignant tumor has diverted the blood vessel process to feed the cells in the center of the tumor. Stopping that corruption of the blood vessels is a good way to halt tumor growth. Successful cures in mouse studies broke the news in the last couple of years.
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