Cancer vaccines could be accessed by patients within the next decade according to the husband and wife team behind one of the most successful Covid jabs.

German couple Professors Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci said they are hesitant to say they can find a cure for cancer, but that they have had “breakthroughs” they will keep working on.

They have said that the development and success of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 which became widely rolled out in the pandemic “gives back to our cancer work”.

They co-founded BioNTech in Mainz, Germany, in 2008, and worked to pioneer cancer immunotherapies tailored to individual patients.

Their use of mRNA technology came into its own in the pandemic, and the couple said that experience has helped to spur on their work.

While conventional vaccines are produced using weakened forms of a virus, mRNAs use only a virus’s genetic code.

An mRNA vaccine is injected into the body, where it enters cells and tells them to create antigens which are then recognised by the immune system and prepare it to fight the disease.

New cancer vaccine could be ready by 2030

The couple were interviewed on BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme.

Asked when cancer vaccines might be accessible to many patients around the world, Prof Sahin said it could happen “before 2030”.

Prof Tureci told Kuenssberg: “What we have developed over decades for cancer vaccine development has been the tailwind for developing the Covid-19 vaccine, and now the Covid-19 vaccine and our experience in developing it gives back to our cancer work.

“We have learned how to better, faster manufacture vaccines. We have learned in a large number of people how the immune system reacts towards mRNA.”

She said the developments have also helped regulators learn about mRNA vaccines and how to deal with them.

She added: “This will definitely accelerate our cancer vaccine.”

The pair are taking a positive yet cautious approach, Prof Tureci said: “As scientists we are always hesitant to say we will have a cure for cancer.

“We have a number of breakthroughs and we will continue to work on them.”