The virus strain which produces the measles vaccine is effective for another purpose - fighting lymphoma, a group of cancers that originate in the lymphatic system.
The Scientists from Mayo clinic department of molecular medicine have found that the measles vaccine virus caused remission of lymphoma in mice injected with human cells containing the cancer.
Adele Fielding, lead Researcher describes the findings as an early step in potentially developing the measles vaccine virus into a treatment for patients with advanced lymphomas. The study involves the use of the derivatives of the Edmonston-B, strain of the measels vaccine to study its effects on the lymphomas.
Dr. Feilding cited that injecting the vaccine strain of the virus into the tumor caused remission of the human B- cell lymphoma in labaoratory mice with the cancer. Intravenous administration of the same resulted in considerable slowing of tumor progression in mice.
A pilot study is now underway at Mayo clinic to test the use of live measles vaccine virus in patients diagnosed with lymphoma.
The two main types of Lymphoma include Hodgkin's disease and non Hodgkin's lymphoma, each having its own spread, growth and response to treatment. Chemotherapy alone or in combination with radiation therapy is the standard treatment for lymphoma. High dose chemotherapy with bone marrow transplantation is given in case of relapse.
If proved effective, the treatment derived from measles vaccine virus would become another treatment option for patients with relapsed lymphoma.