When you think of mesothelioma, you rightly think of asbestos, cancer, and cancer treatments. And when you think of measles you likely think of an old-world virus now halted through the miracle of vaccination. In both cases you would be correct. But if a group of researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota are proven to be correct in their theory, you may soon be thinking of the two diseases in completely new terms: the scientists believe that they can use a weaponized version of measles as an effective treatment – and possible cure – for mesothelioma.
The original idea of using measles against mesothelioma is credited to Mayo Clinic molecular researcher Stephen Russell, M.D., Ph. D., who recognized that certain measles viruses have a primary receptor for the Edmonton vaccine known as the CD46 protein that is also over expressed by malignant pleural mesothelioma cells. Describing their laboratory work, Russell says, “We’ve taken a new viral agent, repositioned it for this disease and are advancing it toward the clinic as an entirely novel treatment.” After five years of successful laboratory testing resulted in “cell viability (that) is diminished substantially compared to untreated cells”, the group is now ready to move on to clinical trials involving human mesothelioma patients.
Though the Mayo Clinic has long been a valuable resource in research and treatment of disease, the search for a cure for malignant mesothelioma has taken on a special sense of urgency for its researchers, as well as for its teammates from the University of Minnesota. Recent studies have shown a rapid rise in the number of cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in miners who worked in the Minnesota Iron Rage taconite mine, as well as in their immediate family members. Over 100 people have died since the connection has been made, and the group is taking heroic steps in an attempt to stem this rising tide.
The human clinical trials are currently enrolling patients diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The group’s goal is to have a total of 36 patients enrolled, with those accepted into the program being administered the viral dose directly into their chest cavities via catheter. The catheter will serve a dual purpose, enabling those patients to have accumulated pleural fluid removed from their lungs. After their dosing is complete, the patients will be followed over a maximum five-year period to determine its success.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other asbestos-related disease, the latest research can offer real hope. But you also need real answers for other pressing concerns, and we can help. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and legal options. We can be reached quickly and easily at 1-800-966-2244.