Engineered measles vaccine wipes out woman's cancer

May 15, 2014

A potent dose of engineered measles virus has been shown for the first time to have completely wiped out a woman's cancer, US scientists reported this week.

"Here we have got a therapy that you give once, and the outcome can be long-term remission of cancer," said lead author Stephen Russell, a hematologist who co-developed the therapy described Wednesday in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal.

"We believe it can become a single shot cure."

The 49-year-old patient was diagnosed with a kind of cancer called . She had a tumor on her forehead and the cancer had spread through her bone marrow.

She was given an intravenous dose of , known as MV-NIS, that is selectively toxic to myeloma plasma cells.

A normal dose of contains 10,000 infectious units of the measles virus. The dose in this study was 100 billion infectious units.

"She had a remarkable response," said Russell.

Despite some side effects early on, including a severe headache, the tumor on her forehead soon disappeared and her bone marrow cleared.

Russell said her remission lasted for nine months. When the tumor on her forehead began to reappear, doctors treated it with local radiotherapy.

A report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune said the woman, now 50, continues to be in good health and hopes her doctor's visit next month will show that she is still -free.

A second patient in the study did not fare as well. She had large tumors in her legs and the therapy did not eradicate them.

However, using advanced imaging studies, doctors were able to track the path of the measles virus in her body and found it was indeed attacking the areas where tumors were growing.

Both patients were the first two studied at the highest possible dose of the therapy, which had not worked at lower doses.

The women also had limited exposure to measles in the past. Both their cancers had spread to the point where they had no other treatment options.

An accompanying editorial by John Bell of the Center for Innovative Cancer Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, said the evidence was "compelling."

"These are exciting results that finally validate the clinical potential of this class of therapeutics. However, there is much research to be done," Bell wrote.

Explore further: Cell receptor could allow measles virus to target tumors

Related Stories

Cell receptor could allow measles virus to target tumors

August 25, 2011
Canadian researchers have discovered that a tumor cell marker is a receptor for measles virus, suggesting the possible use of measles virus to help fight cancer. Their findings appear in the Open Access journal PLoS Pathogens ...

Why measles spreads so quickly

November 2, 2011
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered why measles, perhaps the most contagious viral disease in the world, spreads so quickly. The virus emerges in the trachea of its host, provoking a cough that fills the air with particles ...

Timing of first dose of measles vaccine questioned

October 21, 2013
(HealthDay)—Children who receive the first dose of a two-dose schedule of measles vaccine at 12 to 13 months compared with 15 months or later have a greater risk of developing measles, according to a study published online ...

Impact of rising incidence of measles discussed

April 25, 2014
(HealthDay)—With the rising incidence of measles, the importance of vaccination should be emphasized and precautions must be exercised in cases of suspected measles, according to a commentary piece published online April ...

Resurgence of measles in US brings children pain and suffering

May 7, 2014
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. is seeing the largest outbreak of measles in decades. In 2000 the disease was considered eliminated from the country thanks to vaccines, but a combination ...

US measles tally already among worst in 15 years

September 12, 2013
(AP)—Health officials say 2013 already is one of the worst years for measles in more than 15 years.

Recommended for you

New approach attacks 'undruggable' cancers from the outside in

January 23, 2018
Cancer researchers have made great strides in developing targeted therapies that treat the specific genetic mutations underlying a patient's cancer. However, many of the most common cancer-causing genes are so central to ...

Study: Cells of three advanced cancers die with drug-like compounds that reverse chemo failure

January 23, 2018
Researchers at Southern Methodist University have discovered three drug-like compounds that successfully reverse chemotherapy failure in three of the most commonly aggressive cancers—ovarian, prostate and breast.

'Hijacker' drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

January 23, 2018
Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome "hijacks" DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights ...

Enzyme inhibitor combined with chemotherapy delays glioblastoma growth

January 23, 2018
In animal experiments, a human-derived glioblastoma significantly regressed when treated with the combination of an experimental enzyme inhibitor and the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy drug, temozolomide.

Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant

January 23, 2018
A study headed by ICREA researcher Roger Gomis at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) has identified the genes involved in the latent asymptomatic state of breast cancer metastases. The work sheds light ...

Boosting cancer therapy with cross-dressed immune cells

January 22, 2018
Researchers at EPFL have created artificial molecules that can help the immune system to recognize and attack cancer tumors. The study is published in Nature Methods.

3 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

wealthychef
5 / 5 (1) May 15, 2014
Wow! Sucks that it is not 100% effective yet, but amazing results in one woman is better than anything else I've ever heard of! I'm always amazed this kind of stuff is not front page of Google News.
dedereu
not rated yet May 17, 2014
This miraculous method exists since more than one century, with coley's toxins !!
http://en.wikiped...s_toxins
http://www.nature...S4a.html
but it has been neglected too much!!
"He treated hundreds of people, curing more than a quarter of his sarcoma patients plus some with other types of cancer.
Even by today's standards, his results are remarkable. In 1999, researchers compared 128 of Coley's cases with 1,675 matched controls treated with modern cancer therapies, and found that his patients survived a median of 8.9 years, compared with 7.0 years for contemporary patients. Half of Coley's sarcoma patients lived for ten years, compared with 38% of those treated with modern therapy. Coley also improved the ten-year survival rates for patients with kidney and ovarian cancers. "What Coley did for his [sarcoma] patients back then was better than what we're doing for these same patients today,"
dedereu
not rated yet May 17, 2014
http://www.mayocl..._5_2.pdf
http://www.mayocl...fulltext

It is different from Coley, quite more targeted, but no more perfect solution.
But it opens quite more efficient new possibilities.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.