Posted on May 17, 2014

Apparently the measles vaccine is not only effective at curing measles. It is also effective at wiping out cancer cells.

CBS news reports on the surprising double function of the measles vaccine.

Researchers say the measles vaccine has been shown to eliminate cancer causing cells.

“The vaccine routinely used to prevent measles may hold promise for treating a common, and frequently deadly, type of blood cancer according to new research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The vaccine was tested against late-stage incurable myeloma, a type of blood cancer that grows in the plasma cells of bone marrow, and doctors say it completely eliminated a patient's widespread tumors,” according to CBS.

Scientists have been looking into this possibility for many years. Dr. Russell from Mayo Clinic who led the research told CBS, “It's a huge milestone in that regard. We have known for some time viruses act like a vaccine. If you inject a virus into a tumor you can provoke the immune system to destroy that cancer and other cancers. This is different, it puts the virus into bloodstream, it infects and destroys the cancer, debulks it, and then the immune system can come and mop up the residue.”

Researchers have already begun testing the vaccine on cancer patients to see if it is helpful.

CBS reports, “In one myeloma patient, doctors observed changes in blood levels within a minute after administering the vaccine infusion. Next Russell and his team at the Mayo Clinic plan to move to test the experimental treatment in a phase 2 clinical trial on a larger number of patients. Additionally, they told USA Today that the vaccine might be effective for the treatment of ovarian, brain, head and neck cancers, as well as mesothelioma. Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer in the U.S. The National Cancer Institute estimates there were 24,050 new cases of myeloma in 2014, and approximately 11,090 deaths due to the disease. This type of cancer has a 45 percent five-year survival rate. When myeloma cells collect in marrow they may damage the bone. Eventually cancer cells will spread to other bones in the body, which is called multiple myeloma.”


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