Measles vaccine eliminates Minnesota woman's cancer

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The cancer of a woman from Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, is in remission after she received a massive dose of the measles vaccine.

According to KARE 11, Stacy Erholtz has battled cancer for 10 years. She received a dose of the measles vaccine – large enough to vaccinate 10 million people.

The treatment appears to have worked as more than a year later she remains cancer free.

"I promise you I have not felt his well, I can't remember how well feeling like this," she told KARE 11. "Having this amount of energy."

Erholtz suffered from multiple myeloma and had undergone nearly every imaginable treatment over the last decade including chemotherapy and two stem cell transplants. Every time her cancer returned – until now.

Dr. Stephen Russell, a professor of molecular medicine, treated Erholtz at the Mayo Clinic, he says her case is the "first well-documented instance of a patient who has received an intravenously administered virus that has cause complete remission of disseminating cancer."

Oncolytic virotherapy exploits cancer cells that usually have weak ability to fight off infections. Russell says the apparent success in Erholtz's treatment is a milestone.

"We've known for a long time that this is possible in mice, but we had not known that it's possible in people," he said. "We now know it's possible and this should energize the field – but we have a lot of work to do."

Doctors remain cautious, though. Virotherapy may only work on some types of cancers or for patients, who haven't been exposed to the vaccine (or have had their immunity wiped out through chemotherapy and radiation).

Erholtz was one of two patients in the landmark study. According to researchers, both of the patients had limited previous exposure to measles and therefore had fewer antibodies to the virus.

The next step will be Phase II of clinical trials for patients without other treatment options.

"Hopefully, by combining the virus with drugs or by increasing the dose further still, we will be able to get those complete cures which we would love to see," Russell said.

Next Up

covid, vaccine

Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

police lights

2 people charged in separate Minneapolis homicides that happened hours apart

A woman is accused of stabbing a man in the chest over $60, while a man is accused of accidentally shooting a victim on the man's birthday.

House for sale

Despite pandemic, Twin Cities housing market set records in 2020

Sales were up 7.7% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Target store inside

Target unveils 'limited-edition' home, lifestyle collection with Levi Strauss

The new collection will be available in some stores and everyone online Feb. 28.

Tim Walz

Walz's $52.4 billion budget increases school spending, raises taxes on wealthy

He says the budget will help level the playing field and ensure all Minnesotans have a fair shot at economic recovery,

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 12.55.00 PM

Pictures from Minnesota GOP's Deadwood retreat show no masks, no distancing

The pictures were shared in Chair Jennifer Carnahan's latest email newsletter.

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.

Sars-Cov-2

What health officials know, don't know about Brazil P.1 variant

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first case of the P.1 variant in the U.S.

christopher and banks

Christopher & Banks closing stores for good, laying off 361 people at Plymouth facility

The layoffs began earlier this month and will continue through March.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 8.56.43 AM

Tributes, donations after death of popular South High School teacher

The fundraiser had raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 as of Tuesday.

Related