The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is the only institution in the world currently pursuing using creations of measles virus to treat cancer. Center has focused on basic science research conducted in the laboratory to therapies today are tested on several tumor types, including glioblastoma multiforme (brain cancer), recurrent ovarian cancer and now multiple myeloma.
The Dr. Ángela Dispenzieri, hematologa and principal investigator of the clinical trial in multiple myeloma in these investigations on measles virus. “We have much hope in that this represents one further step to help our patients.”
To create the measles virus used in these studies, more genes were introduced in the strain of the measles vaccine.
Many types of cancer, including multiple myeloma, expressed in excess a protein, the CD46, allowing them to avoid the immune system to destroy them. The strains of the measles virus laboratory seek this protein and use it as a receiver, through which enter the cancer cell. Entered, the virus spreads, infecting neighboring cells and joining them to kill more cancer cells.
This study is different from the other two open clinical trials because researchers given the strain of the measles virus intravenously, rather than directly to the tumor site. For multiple myeloma, the researchers used a strain of the measles virus that was created to carry an additional gene that encodes the co-transportadora protein of sodium and iodine (NIS).
The NIS is produced by the thyroid, where it attracts and concentrates iodine. This feature of the NIS protein may explode as a target toward which point therapy against cancer because you can concentrate radioactive iodine, and thus provide a way to radiate cancer cells selectively, imaging of tumors and control regression.
Eligible candidates for the study of multiple myeloma will be adults with relapse of myeloma, or if this is refractory (i.e. more than one type of treatment failed). In addition, they should not have received transplant allogeneic (from another person) stem cells, must have previously suffered at least one infection by measles and have received the vaccine for the disease.
In the Decade of the 1970s, it was observed that measles infections caused regression in pre-existing cancerous tumors in children. Although noted on this fact, nothing was done to study the phenomenon until the end of the 1990s when, under the direction of Dr. Stephen Russell, the program of Molecular Medicine of the Oncology Center from May Clinic began to investigate it. The current study and other relevant projects are results of such action.
“The multidisciplinary team and institutional support for research from Vanguard boasts Mayo Clinic are the perfect incubator for the development of therapeutic viruses,” said Dr. Russell. “We have everything you need: from professionals in basic sciences that create and test the strains in the vaccine, to those who determine the best way to make a secure mechanism for biological delivery, and finally, clinicians who understand science and develop guidelines through which it is possible to conduct and properly conduct the study.” Thanks to this outstanding team, we can really concentrate on achieving maximum benefit for the patient”.
The team may used by the virus of measles against ovarian cancer reported with the first tests of anticancer activity, which also demonstrate safety. Now, the team may pass to largest and possibly most powerful viral dose. Essay on glioblastoma multiforme, which opened in the fall, try the security for the treatment of this disease from another strain of the measles virus, which also allows the biological control of the anti-tumour activity.
The team of Dr. Russell also seeks ways to use the measles virus to fight other types of cancer, including the of breast, pancreas, and liver.
Funding for the research came from the National Cancer Institute and the Foundation Harold W. Siebens. Other researchers of the Centro Oncológico de Mayo Clinic who participated in the project on multiple myeloma are the doctors: Gregory Wiseman, Val Lowe, Morie Gertz, David Kallmes, and Mark Federspiel.
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