After hearing news about an exciting new treatment for incurable cancer using the measles virus, I couldn’t help but wonder whether it could potentially save the life of a young family member with end-stage leukemia. Other cancer patients and their loved ones are likely pondering the same question.
Mayo Clinic researchers published a report on Thursday detailing the first successful treatment of cancer using a genetically engineered measles virus administered at high doses. Two women with multiple myeloma — a rare cancer of white blood cells found in the bone marrow — were treated with a high dose of the virus, from a strain used in vaccines, after their cancers failed to respond to traditional treatments.One patient, a 65-year-old woman, had some tumor shrinkage from the treatment without a full remission of her cancer while the other, a 49-year-old woman, experienced dramatic benefits: She had a complete remission of her multiple tumors and remained cancer-free for nine months. Now 11 months after the treatment, she is doing well after a malignancy that returned on her forehead was successfully treated with radiation.
SO….. the patient was “free’ of cancer for 9 months. Is that a remission or a suppression?
It seems to me that perhaps a better approach to this problem, sadly it doesnt make $$, is to
- see if a person is benefitted from actually having the measles as a child to boost the immune system.
- see whether vaccines cause extra strain on the system and produce cancers.
- accept that the results of this test do not have long term validity because of the return of the cancer.