Modified Measles Virus Used to Kill Cancer

#Science

Fri, May 16th, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

Although researchers at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Ohio are being cautiously optimistic, initial trials have shown that a woman suffering from myeloma, a blood cancer that affects bone marrow, went into remission after she was administered with an engineered version of the measles virus. The virus was designed to attack cancer cells but spare healthy tissue.

Five minutes into the hour-long process, Erholtz got a terrible headache. Two hours later, she started shaking and vomiting. Her temperature hit 105 degrees, Stephen Russell, the lead researcher on the case, told The Washington Post early Thursday morning.

“Thirty-six hours after the virus infusion was finished, she told me, ‘[the tumour on her forehead] has started shrinking,’” Russell said. Over the next several weeks, the tumor on her forehead disappeared completely and, over time, the other tumors in her body did, too.

Russell said he and his team had engineered the virus to make it more suitable for cancer therapy. And, after just one dose of it, Erholtz’s cancer went into remission. She has been completely cleared of the disease, Russell wrote in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Though, in this trial, the treatments were successful on only one of the two patients.

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