Using a concept known as Virotherapy, a woman with an incurable cancer is now in remission, all thanks to a highly concentrated dose of the measles virus.
For 10 years, Stacy Revolts, 49, battled multiple Myeloma, a deadly cancer of the blood. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say she had received every type of chemotherapy drug available for her cancer and had undergone two stem cell transplants, only to relapse time and again.
Then researchers gave her and five other multiple myeloma patients a dose of a highly concentrated, lab-engineered measles virus similar to the measles vaccine. In fact, the dose Revolts received contained enough of the virus to vaccinate approximately 100 million people.
“The idea here is that a virus can be trained to specifically damage a cancer and to leave other tissues in the body unharmed,” said the lead study author, Dr. Stephen Russell.
Mayo Clinic scientists say thousands of cancer patients have been treated with viruses, but this is the first case of a patient with a cancer that had spread throughout the body going into remission.
Erholtz was cancer-free for nine months.
“I think we succeeded because we pushed the dose higher than others have pushed it,” Russell said. “And I think that is critical. The amount of virus that’s in the bloodstream really is the driver of how much gets into the tumors.”
In simple terms, the measles virus makes cancer cells join together and explode, Mayo Clinic researcher Dr. Angela Dispenzieri explains. There’s also some evidence to suggest, she says, that the virus is stimulating the patient’s immune system, helping it recognize any recurring cancer cells and “mop that up.”
This treatment is still in the early testing stages, though. Doctors recently used radiation therapy to treat a small, localized tumor in Erholtz’s body.
And the other patients in the trial did not go into remission. Tests showed the virus helped shrink one woman’s tumors, but they started growing again soon after. The other patients’ cancers did not respond to the treatment.
Researchers also don’t know whether this Virotherapy will help other patients or whether it can be applied to other types of cancer. The measles virus worked with these multiple Myeloma patients because they are already immune-deficient, meaning their bodies can’t fight off the virus before it has a chance to attack the cancer cells.
More of the highly concentrated measles virus is being created now to be used in a larger clinical trial, Mayo Clinic researchers say. They’ve developed a manufacturing process that can produce large amounts of the virus, Russell says.
“We recently have begun to think about the idea of a single shot cure for cancer — and that’s our goal with this therapy,” he said.
Seem as if medical experts think a cure for Cancer could be next, but at what costs?
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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