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Measles virus studied as possible mesothelioma cure

Mayo Clinic researchers are conducting a study with the measles virus that has already yielded some positive results with regard to cancer. Last year, the researchers used an extraordinarily large dosage of the measles vaccine, equal to about 10 million individual doses, in an attempt to destroy cancer cells. It was recently reported that the treatments were effective in wiping out cancer cells.

One of the two patients in the trial program indicated that she had been informed she was out of treatment options, therefore piquing her interest in this study’s prospects. That patient had been living with multiple myeloma for ten years. After the treatment, however, she has reportedly been in full remission for six months.

A hematologist at the head of these efforts explained that a virus was used because past research indicates it can act like a vaccine. Most people understand that a person’s immune system attacks viruses to eradicate them. In this case, the doctors injected the measles virus into patients’ bloodstream. The virus gets into the cancerous cells and “debulks” them. The immune system then reacts to clean it all up.

The study is being touted as a landmark project because there were few side effects of the vaccine injection, but it also is leading researchers to look at whether other types of cancer, like mesothelioma, can be addressed in a similar manner.

This continued research may bring good news for Illinois patients suffering from mesothelioma. Workers who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is linked to asbestos exposure, may welcome the news of a possible vaccine, as it is an aggressive, incurable and devastating disease. However, further experimentation and approval will likely take years.

In the meantime, victims of mesothelioma may want to consider working with an attorney to pursue compensation from negligent parties that contributed to their illness. While money cannot undo the damage that has already been done, it can help victims access the medical care, treatment and medications they may desperately need.

Source: WWLTV, "Measles vaccine attacks cancer in landmark study," Lindsey Seavert, May 18, 2014

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