New Measles Vaccine Trial for Cancer Treatment Looks Promising

An oncologist says the Mayo Clinic’s recent trial results showing that a patient with a blood cancer was cured using a high dosage of a version of the measles vaccine is promising and one tool that cancer physicians can potentially use in the future. Jonathan Kolitz, MD, associate chief of hematologic oncology at the North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, says the measles vaccine could potentially work well in patients with a low resistance to this virus. The vaccine therapy targets the cancer cells and, for the most part, leaves healthy cells alone. One thing to consider with this treatment is that many people are resistant to measles because of vaccines they received as children, Dr. Kolitz says. In those patients, the treatment would not be effective, he adds. Dr. Kolitz says since every person reacts differently to treatments, patients should consult their physicians to determine the best course of treatment if this measles vaccine method is shown to be viable in more clinical trials.

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