Measles Vaccine Cures Woman Of Cancer

Cancer Measles Vaccine
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Mayo Clinic researchers have wiped out a 49-year-old Minnesota woman’s blood cancer with a radical new virus-based treatment that involved injecting her with “the highest possible dose” of a measles vaccine, suggesting virotherapy could treat some cancers

The claim: Mayo Clinic researchers employing “virotherapy”—or virus-based treatment—completely eradicated a 49-year-old woman’s blood cancer using an extremely heavy dose of the measles vaccine (enough to vaccinate 100 million people), according to a newly released report in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

The research: The study team injected two cancer patients with “the highest possible dose” of an engineered measles virus. (Past research had shown the virus was capable of killing myeloma-infected plasma cells while sparing normal tissue.) Both patients responded to the treatment and showed reductions in bone marrow cancer and myeloma protein. One of the patients, Stacy Erholtz, experienced complete remission and has been cancer-free for 6 months.

More From Prevention: Medical Tests That Can Save Your Life

What it means: This is the first study to show that this type of virotherapy may be effective when it comes to some types of cancers, says study coauthor Stephen Russell, MD, PhD, a Mayo Clinic hematologist and co-developer of the treatment. “Viruses naturally destroy tissue,” Russell explains. And the measles virus appears to cause cancer cells to group together and “explode,” which not only destroys them but also helps alert the patient’s immune system to their presence, says one of Russell’s coauthors on the study, Angela Dispenzieri, MD. While the second myeloma patient did not experience such a dramatic recovery, the virotherapy was still effective in targeting and treating sites of her tumor growth, the Mayo researchers say.

The bottom line: The two women included in the study were chosen because their cancer had failed to respond to other treatments, and so they were out of options, the study authors say. Also, neither of the women had much previous exposure to measles, which means they had few antibodies to the virus. While a lot more work has to be done to develop the treatment for other cancer sufferers, Russell says the ultimate goal for this therapy is “a single-shot cure for cancer.”

More from Prevention: 20 Ways To Lower Your Cancer Risk

The article was written by Markham Heid and originally appeared on Prevention.com



TIME diet

Drink Coffee, Lower Your Diabetes Risk

Jonathan Kantor—Getty Images

Here's your excuse to drink an extra cup or two in the morning

The claim: Upping your daily coffee intake by 1.5 cups—or roughly 12 ounces—can lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, finds new research from the Harvard School of Public Health.

The research: The study team examined 20 years of health and diet data on more than 100,000 people in search of links between diabetes rates and coffee or tea consumption. They found people who reduced their coffee habit by 8 or more ounces a day suffered a 17% hike in type 2 diabetes risk compared to people who didn’t change their intake. On the other hand, drinking an extra cup or more a day dropped a person’s risk for diabetes by 11%. Furthermore, people who drank a lot of coffee to begin with—24 or more ounces a day—and who didn’t adjust their coffee habit enjoyed rates of diabetes 37% lower than people who swallowed 8 or fewer ounces of coffee daily.

More From Prevention: 4 Surprising Coffee Cures

What it means: First of all, the researchers say it’s not clear based on their data whether drinking more tea or decaf coffee can offer similar protections against diabetes. But past research has shown either (or both) may protect you from the disease, they point out. When it comes to caffeinated joe, the drink contains several “bioactive compounds” that may improve your body’s ability to metabolize glucose, which could explain coffee’s diabetes-repelling benefits, says study coauthor Shilpa Bhupathiraju, PhD.

The bottom line: More and more research is piling up linking coffee to health improvements. Earlier this year, Bhupathiraju and her colleagues published another report tying higher coffee consumption to a significant drop in rates of cardiovascular disease. So what’s the ideal amount of java to lower your risks for CVD and diabetes? Aim for 3 to 5 cups (or 24 to 40 ounces) per day, Bhupathiraju suggests. Just keep your pm coffee drinking to a minimum to avoid disrupting your sleep patterns, experts advise.

This article was written by Markham Heid and originally appeared on Prevention.com



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