A new innovative treatment to be tested in a clinical trial has shown promise in the fight against mesothelioma, an aggressive life threatening cancer. The source at the center of this new treatment may surprise many people. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are utilizing a modified form of the measles virus to treat patients suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma. The coordinated study was prompted by the discovery that several patients with cancer that naturally acquired measles experienced a reduction in the size of their cancer tumors.
Prior to this clinical trial, the research investigators administered the modified measles virus to cells in their laboratory and to live mice infected with mesothelioma. The mice that had mesothelioma and received the altered measles virus lived up to twice as long as those mice with mesothelioma that did not receive the injection. Due to these promising results, the medical professionals have been able to move forward and use the treatment in human patients in this clinical trial.
The phase 1 clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic is open for enrollment to patients who have a diagnosis of mesothelioma that is confined to a single pleural cavity. The trial will investigate to determine the best dose of the intrapleural measles virus therapy in treating patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma and evaluate the side effects associated with the therapy. Eligible participants in the study will receive the genetically engineered measles virus via an intrapleural injection. If a patient does not experience any unacceptable toxic side effects and the disease does not progress, the patient can receive additional doses every 28 days for up to 6 cycles. The altered vaccine strain of the measles virus contains a type of radioactive iodine that will enable doctors to monitor the effects the virus has on the mesothelioma tumor through non-invasive imaging studies.
Once the virus is injected into a patient, the researchers expect that the altered measles virus will specifically attack and kill the cancer cells while sparing normal cells. In addition, the researchers also anticipate that an anti-tumor immune response will be elicited that will cause additional damage to the mesothelioma tumor. Patients will continue to be monitored every 3 to 6 months for up to 5 years.
While this new experimental treatment is not expected to be a cure for mesothelioma, researchers are hopeful that mesothelioma patients will benefit from the therapy with an increased life expectancy. Also, the researchers are looking to the future and anticipating that they may be able to put the virus into a more convenient pill form.
The Pennsylvania and New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers of BRBS in Philadelphia have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects that a mesothelioma diagnosis has on its victims as well as their families. Therefore, we consistently strive to keep up to date on all the latest research and treatments available and provide that information to our clients. Our dedicated and compassionate team of mesothelioma lawyers is hopeful that this new treatment can improve the quality and life span of malignant mesothelioma patients.
If you or someone you love is suffering from mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, you need the legal assistance of a qualified and experienced mesothelioma lawyer. Mesothelioma victims and their families throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey can count on the tireless efforts of our knowledgeable legal team when it comes to fighting for your rights and securing you fair and just compensation. We encourage you to contact the committed Philadelphia mesothelioma attorneys of BRBS at 1-215-569-4000 or contact us online.