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Measles virus may be effective prostate cancer treatment
Date:1/21/2009

Rochester, Minn. January 21, 2009 A new study appearing in The Prostate has found that certain measles virus vaccine strain derivatives, including a strain known as MV-CEA, may prove to be an effective treatment for patients with advanced prostate cancer. The findings show that this type of treatment, called virotherapy, can effectively infect, replicate in and kill prostate cancer cells.

Prostate cancer is a leading cause death among males in the western world. It is currently the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths among American men with 186,320 new cases and 28,660 deaths expected to be recorded in 2008. A sizeable proportion of these patients ultimately relapse, with a 5-year failure rate for treatment ranging from 14 to 34 percent. No curative therapy is currently available for locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer.

The median survival time of MV-CEA-treated mice in the study almost doubled compared to the controls, and complete tumor regression was observed in one-fifth of treated animals.

"Based on our preclinical results as well as the safety of measles derivatives in clinical trials against other tumor types, these viral strains could represent excellent candidates for clinical testing against advanced prostate cancer, including androgen resistant tumors," says Evanthia Galanis, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic, senior author of the study. The study was supported by the Mayo Clinic Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in prostate cancer.

These oncolytic strains of measles virus, represent a novel class of therapeutic agents against cancer that demonstrates no cross-resistance with existing treatment approaches, and can therefore be combined with conventional treatment methods.

Because primary tumor sites are easily accessible in prostate cancer, locally recurrent disease represents a promising target for virotherapy approaches. The virotherapy agent can easily be appl
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Contact: Sean Wagner
medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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