Every day we’re hearing more and more about new cures for cancer, new prevention, new treatments. There are always new people claiming breakthroughs in medical science when it comes to cancer, including a recent
cancer vaccine. It’s not preventative. You would simply inject a certain mix into tumors and make them shrink quite dramatically in a short period of time.
Most recently, experts are trying what they call virotherapy, which means that they inject the measles vaccine to fight cancer, which seems to be having extremely positive effects thus far. It was first announced in May, and just recently, they published a follow-up with the patient Stacy Erholtz, who has been completely cancer-free for a year. The next phase of the clinical trials will be starting shortly.
Erholtz reported to Minnesota’s Brainerd Dispatch,
I’m really excited about it, not for myself, but I want some multiple myeloma measles friends. I’ve had a dose, and you can’t be redosed. It’s time for other people to have a dose. It’s a giant step forward for cancer. Let’s get it out there. Let’s put some money behind it and get it out there.
Erholtz previous had an aggressive form of multiple myeloma, a blood cancer found in the plasma cells of the bone marrow. It spread across her whole body in just 10 years. She ended up in the Mayo Clinic’s experimental study when she ran out of other options. They gave her a single high dose injection of the measles vaccine, which could have inoculated 10 million people on a normal basis. She went into complete remission after just one dose.
Research on mice has suggested that viral therapy overwhelms cancer cells and makes them literally explode. Viruses like herpes and poxvirus are particularly effective, and they
bind tumors and use them as hosts to replicate their own genetic material; the cancer cells eventually explode and release the virus.
Unfortunately, the measles vaccine has not been found to be effective for all types of cancer. Other patients in the study did not see remission as Erholtz did. The effects are partially dependent on your immune system. Most people have already been vaccinated against measles, but if you have a suppressed immune system (and little previous exposure in Erholtz), you are more likely to respond to the measles virus.
You only get once chance with this kind of treatment. Once the body recognizes it, it will start attacking it before it can bond to the cancer cells. They are currently researching how to determine the right dose for each patient.
The Mayo Clinic will be offering 15 doses of the measles treatment in the new trial. 350 people are currently on the waiting list, and they want to experiment on numerous types of cancer in the brain, ovaries, neck, and head. They hope to receive FDA approval in the next 4 years.