Author Topic: Woman's cancer wiped out by massive dose of measles vaccine  (Read 567 times)

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Re: Woman's cancer wiped out by massive dose of measles vaccine
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2014, 02:04:20 PM »
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Re: Woman's cancer wiped out by massive dose of measles vaccine
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2014, 02:10:51 PM »
CNN:
Quote
Measles virus used to put woman's cancer into remission
By Jacque Wilson and William Hudson, CNN
May 15, 2014 -- Updated 1721 GMT (0121 HKT)

 


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
 Researchers inject highly concentrated dose of measles virus into cancer patients
Woman's cancer went into remission; a second patient responded but not as well
This experimental treatment is a long way from being commonly used to fight cancer
 

 
(CNN) -- A woman with an incurable cancer is now in remission, thanks, doctors say, to a highly concentrated dose of the measles virus.

For 10 years, Stacy Erholtz, 49, battled multiple myeloma, a deadly cancer of the blood. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say she had received every type of chemotherapy drug available for her cancer and had undergone two stem cell transplants, only to relapse time and again.

Then researchers gave her and five other multiple myeloma patients a dose of a highly concentrated, lab-engineered measles virus similar to the measles vaccine. In fact, the dose Erholtz received contained enough of the virus to vaccinate approximately 100 million people.

"The idea here is that a virus can be trained to specifically damage a cancer and to leave other tissues in the body unharmed," said the lead study author, Dr. Stephen Russell.

It's a concept known as virotherapy, and it's been done before. Mayo Clinic scientists say thousands of cancer patients have been treated with viruses, but this is the first case of a patient with a cancer that had spread throughout the body going into remission.

Erholtz was cancer-free for nine months.

"I think we succeeded because we pushed the dose higher than others have pushed it," Russell said. "And I think that is critical. The amount of virus that's in the bloodstream really is the driver of how much gets into the tumors."

In simple terms, the measles virus makes cancer cells join together and explode, Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. Angela Dispenzieri explains. There's also some evidence to suggest, she says, that the virus is stimulating the patient's immune system, helping it recognize any recurring cancer cells and "mop that up."

This treatment is still in the early testing stages, though. Doctors recently used radiation therapy to treat a small, localized tumor in Erholtz's body.

And the other patients in the trial did not go into remission. Tests showed the virus helped shrink one woman's tumors, but they started growing again soon after. The other patients' cancers did not respond to the treatment.

Researchers also don't know whether this virotherapy will help other patients or whether it can be applied to other types of cancer. The measles virus worked with these multiple myeloma patients because they are already immune-deficient, meaning their bodies can't fight off the virus before it has a chance to attack the cancer cells.

More of the highly concentrated measles virus is being created now to be used in a larger clinical trial, Mayo Clinic researchers say. They've developed a manufacturing process that can produce large amounts of the virus, Russell says.

"We recently have begun to think about the idea of a single shot cure for cancer -- and that's our goal with this therapy," he said.
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Re: Woman's cancer wiped out by massive dose of measles vaccine
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 09:26:35 AM »
In what they describe as a proof of principle study, doctors in the US were able to keep a woman with deadly multiple myeloma - an incurable bone marrow cancer - free of all signs of living cancer cells for over 6 months by giving her just one high dose of measles virus.

Two patients received a single intravenous dose of measles virus that was engineered to kill myeloma plasma cells and not harm other cells.

The team, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, says both patients responded to the treatment, showing reduced bone marrow cancer and levels of myeloma protein.

But one patient, a 49-year-old woman, experienced complete remission and remained disease-free for over 6 months.

A report on this first study to establish the feasibility of the treatment appears in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Proof virotherapy works for disseminated cancer

First author Dr. Stephen Russell, hematologist and co-developer of the therapy, says:


"This is the first study to establish the feasibility of systemic oncolytic virotherapy for disseminated cancer. These patients were not responsive to other therapies and had experienced several recurrences of their disease."

The treatment is an example of oncolytic virotherapy - using engineered viruses to fight cancer - an approach that dates back to the 1950s. Thousands of patients have received this type of therapy, using oncolytic viruses from various families, including common cold viruses, herpes viruses and pox viruses.

But the authors say this is the first well-documented case of a patient with cancer that has spread experiencing complete remission at all disease sites after receiving oncolytic virus therapy. ...More at Medical News Today
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Re: Woman's cancer wiped out by massive dose of measles vaccine
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 12:58:29 PM »
some more:
Quote
Dr. Russell and colleagues explain in their article that they chose to report these two cases in particular because they were the first patients they had studied who had received the highest possible dose, and with limited previous exposure to measles, so their immune systems did not have many antibodies to the virus. They had also exhausted other treatment options.

Senior author Dr. Angela Dispenzieri, an expert in multiple myeloma, says in very simple terms, the measles virus makes the cancer cells join together and explode. The treatment also appears to trigger another lasting benefit:

Quote
"There's some suggestion that it may be stimulating the patient's immune system to further recognize the cancer cells or the myeloma cells and help mop that up more effectively than otherwise."

Having effectively completed a phase I clinical trial - to prove the concept that the measles virus can fight cancer - the team is now moving quickly into a phase II trial involving more patients.

They also intend to test the virus's effectiveness as a tool to fight other cancers, such as head and neck, brain and ovarian cancers and mesothelioma. And they are engineering other viruses that may be able to kill cancer cells.


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