In an experimental trial at Mayo Clinic, doctors used a massive dose of the measles vaccine to treat a 50-year old woman suffering from blood cancer. According to a report from the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, the dosage of vaccine was enough to treat 10 million people! And it seems to have worked.

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Stacy Erholtz of Minnesota was out of options when it came to treating her blood cancer. But the experimental measles vaccine overdose has had positive results so far. After receiving the medication in a first-of-its-kind trial, Stacy was amazed to discover that her cancer, which had spread widely, went into complete remission. Although Erholtz was one of two subjects in the experiment and the only one to achieve complete remission, the research team claims that the experiment proves the theory that a single, massive dose of intravenous viral therapy can kill cancer by overwhelming its natural defences.

Related: Human Trials of Inhalable Measles Vaccine Coming Soon

Researchers have known for decades that viruses can be used to destroy cancer. As well as overwhelming the cancer’s defences, they can bind to tumours and use them as hosts to replicate their own genetic material. The cancer cells eventually explode and release the virus. The body’s immune system then attacks any remaining cancer that carries remnants of the vaccine’s genetic imprint.

In an interview, Dr. Stephen Russell, a professor of molecular medicine who spearheaded the research at Mayo, said: “It’s a landmark [experiment]. We’ve known for a long time that we can give a virus intravenously and destroy metastatic cancer in mice. Nobody’s shown that you can do that in people before.”

“Without trying to hype it too much, it is a very significant discovery.”

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The team hope that a wider trial will see the vaccination work on a wider range of patients. Speaking to The Star Tribune, Erholtz said she has no regrets about participating in the study and remains optimistic that she will remain cancer-free.

“We don’t let the cancer cloud hang over our house, let’s put it that way, or we would have lived in the dark the last 10 years,” Erholtz said.

+ Mayo Clinic

Via Star Tribune

Images via Pulmonary Pathology and  USACE Europe District