We have a patient of Multiple Myeloma, a rare form of bone marrow malignancy. All the conventional therapies had been exhausted but for one new mode of treatment- A potent dose of engineered measles virus and bingo the patient was cured of her cancer. This exciting news was reported this week in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal.
Lead author Stephen Russell, a hematologist who co-developed the therapy described Wednesday in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal “Here we have got a therapy that you give once, and the outcome can be long-term remission of cancer. We believe it can become a single shot cure.”
The subject of the trial was a 49 year old female patient suffering from a rare form of Bone Marrow Myeloma. The subject also had a tumor on her forehead and the cancer has metastasized through her bone marrow. All the conventional treatment was exhausted before she was administered an I-V dose of Measles Virus which was christened as MV-NIS and was selectively toxic to myeloma plasma cells. The normal dose of measles vaccine contained 10,000 infectious units of the measles virus while the MV-NIS contained 100 billion infectious units.
Barring some side effects which included a severe headache in the beginning, the trial was remarkably successful and the tumor on the forehead as well as her bone marrow cleared. The remission has lasted for more than 9 months before the tumor on the forehead reappeared and was treated with local radiotherapy. The subject is 50 years now and is in good health. She will be declared cancer free on her next Doctor’s visit scheduled for next month.
A second subject was also chosen for the trial but she did not fare well as the first subject. The said subject had large tumors on her legs and the treatment was not successful in eradicating them. Nonetheless Doctors were able to track the path of the measles virus in the subject’s body using advanced imaging technology. The measles virus was seen attacking those areas were the tumors were growing.
John Bell of the Center for Innovative Cancer Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute said, “These are exciting results that finally validate the clinical potential of this class of therapeutics. However, there is much research to be done,”