The Food and Drug Administration said Monday it had seized five vials of smallpox vaccine from a San Diego clinic that used it, without approval or proof it worked, to treat cancer patients. The vaccine, which uses a live virus, is supposed to be tightly controlled and the company did not have permission to use it. Injecting live vaccines into cancer patients can be dangerous, the FDA said. The Food and Drug Administration campus in Silver Spring, Md. Andrew Harnik / AP The company, StemImmune Inc., had given the vaccine to patients at the California Stem Cell Treatment Centers in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills, the FDA said. “The U.S. Marshals Service seized five vials of Vaccinia Virus Vaccine (Live) – a vaccine that is reserved only for people at high risk for smallpox, such as some members of the military. Each of the vials originally contained 100 doses of the vaccine, and although one vial was partially used, four of the vials were intact,” the agency said. The FDA did not say if anyone had been hurt by the unapproved treatments, but added that because the clinic was operating without approval, it was unlikely people would report trouble to the FDA. StemImmune said it was cooperating with the FDA. "We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the FDA as we seek to bring this important cancer therapy to cancer patients," the company said in a brief statement. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the company got the vaccine through a legitimate program. CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said researchers working with vaccinia can get supplies of the vaccine to protect themselves. "Over the past several years, CDC has shipped approximately 150 vials of vaccinia to private or public researchers," Skinner said. The FDA has been trying to crack down on “stem cell” clinics that cash in on news coverage about stem cells, providing bogus treatments that are not only often useless, but also harmful. Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1979 and no one is routinely vaccinated any more. It’s the only human virus to ever have been eradicated. The vaccine that prevents smallpox uses a related virus called vaccinia. Vaccinia is used as the basis of some other