This two-patient #clinicaltrials was an unprecedented success for the patient whose tumors were mostly in her bone marrow. After just one dose her cancer (#Myeloma) went into remission. It was unsuccessful in the patient whose tumors were mainly in her leg muscles.
The team engineered the virus to make it more suitable for cancer therapy. The medical researchers learned two things: “No. 1, you need a really big dose and No. 2, the patient needs to not have an antibody to the virus.”
Using re-engineered viruses to fight cancer (oncolytic virotherapy) dates back to the 1950s. Thousands of cancer patients have been treated with oncolytic viruses from many different virus families (herpes viruses, pox viruses, common cold viruses, etc.). However, this study provides the first well-documented case of a patient with disseminated cancer having a complete remission at all disease sites after virus administration.
Other such trials are going on across the country, such as: the NeuVax clinical trial for patients at risk for breast cancer recurrence; and the Providence Cancer Center, which is using bacteria instead of viruses to treat glioblastoma, a type of common brain cancer.
To read more:
- Woman’s cancer killed by measles virus in unprecedented trial (The Washington Post, May 15, 2014)
- Mayo Clinic press release (Apr 14, 2014)