What would your reaction be if your medical provider told you your only treatment option left was to be injected with a high dosage of the deadly measles virus?
Stacy Erholtz battled multiple myeloma for 10 years, undergoing multiple chemotherapies and two stem-cell transplants only to relapse each time. Just as she ran out of treatment options, her doctors at Mayo Clinic suggested a radical treatment, a single high dose of the measles virus.
"It's a very simple concept," Stephen Russell, M.D., Molecular Medicine says. "Viruses naturally come in to the body and destroy tissue."
The concept was in development for more than a decade, when finally, researchers say the final breakthrough came in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center's gene and virus therapy lab when they figured out how to make large concentrations of virtually the same strain of virus used for vaccines.
Turning a dangerous virus in to a cancer fighter sounds frightening, but battling cancer can be far more scary.
"I received enough, apparently, to vaccinate 100 million people, which was alarming, but I was happy to hear that after the fact I was in remission," Erholtz says.
This breakthrough, according to some physicians, is changing the game.
"We recently have begun to think about the idea of a one shot cure for cancer," Dr. Russell says. "That is our goal with this therapy."
Original story courtesy of the Mayo Clinic News Network
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