An incredible, groundbreaking test has been completed by researchers at the Mayo Clinic: they knocked widespread blood cancer into remission with just a single massive blast of measles vaccine. One such test example is Stacy Erholtz. Suffering from an advanced stage of blood cancer, Erholtz was able to recover thanks to an intravenous injection of the measles virus which was sufficient to overwhelm the cancer’s natural defenses, reports the StarTribune.
As far as clinical trials go, this was just a small test because it only had two subjects; however, Dr. Stephen Russell, the lead researcher, told StarTribune it’s a promising start.
“It’s a landmark. We’ve known for a long time that we can give a virus intravenously and destroy metastatic cancer in mice. Nobody’s shown that you can do that in people before,” Russell explained.
How does this all work? Apparently, the viruses bind to cancer cells and use them to replicate. The process destroys the cells, and the body’s immune system attacks what’s left since it’s marked as viral material. The minimal test also gave doctors a benchmark for the virus dose needed to reduce cancer in patients: 100 billion infectious units instead of the standard 10,000 units.
There are still hurdles that the test has to overcome, of course – the body’s own defenses being one major factor. Once the immune system has experienced fighting a virus, it’s not effective a second time. The body attacks it before it can begin taking over cancer cells.
Doctors will also need to test it out on more patients – their plan is to expand their trials by September.
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