20 May 2014

A shot for cancer

Some of the new medical research on the horizon is exciting: Early results from a clinical trial by Stephen Russel at the Mayo Clinic suggest that a modified version of the measles virus can be used to target cancer cells and put the condition into remission. Researchers intravenously delivered 10,000 times the typical dosage of measles vaccine to two women who had multiple myeloma, a rare cancer affecting white blood cells in bone marrow. The virus, modified to specifically target cancer cells, reduced or eliminated tumors in the two patients. The 49-year-old woman responded particularly well. Other than one local relapse that was treated with radiotherapy, her tumors have disappeared and her cancer has remained in remission for over six months.

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