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Measles vaccine may treat prostate cancer

ROCHESTER, Minn., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Certain measles virus vaccine strain derivatives may prove an effective treatment for patients with advanced prostate cancer, U.S. researchers said.

The findings, published in the journal The Prostate, show that this type of treatment, called virotherapy, can effectively infect, replicate in and kill prostate cancer cells.

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"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," the study's senior author, Dr. Evanthia Galanis of the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement.

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 applied directly to the prostate tumor via ultrasound-guided needle injections and close monitoring of therapy can be achieved by non-invasive techniques including ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging, Galanis said.

The measles vaccine strains also have an excellent safety record with millions of vaccine doses having been safely administered in over 40 years of use, the researchers added.

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