A team of Mayo Clinic researchers have managed to successfully wipe out one woman’s cancer using an extremely strong measles vaccine.
The researchers applied a treatment previously tested on mice to a 50-year-old woman with myeloma, a type of blood cancer. The injected measles vaccine was, according to Newser, so massive that it could have inoculated 10 million people. The treatment, however, was successful, sending the woman’s cancer into complete remission.
Lead researcher Dr. Stephen Russell was cautious about prematurely celebrating the breakthrough, as this is the first documented case of a patient undergoing complete remission after receiving a re-engineered viral injection. Tanios Bekaii-Saab, a researcher at James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Ohio, told the Washington Post he is “cautiously optimistic” until the treatment is confirmed in large randomized clinical trials.
“What this all tells us is something we never knew before - we never knew you could do this in people. It’s a very important landmark because now we know it can happen. It’s a game changer. And I think it will drive a development in the field,” said Russell.
Russell also explained that the recent breakthrough was successful because the woman’s tumors were concentrated in her bone marrow. A similar attempt failed in a patient whose tumors were concentrated in leg muscles. Additional clinical trials of the treatment are expected to continue later this year.