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Useful Measles Roundup

March 23, 2007

Scientists are training the measles to attack cancer cells.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):
Fighting cancer with measles. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

While doctors are still working on eradicating measles, other researchers are using measles to fight cancer. At the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, scientists have created genetically modified measles viruses that don’t cause disease, and that kill cancer cells. The viruses find the cells by homing in on a protein they produce and attack them, leaving normal cells alone. In two studies, the researchers are injecting the measles directly into the tumors, and in a third they are testing to see if the virus is effective when injected into the bloodstream.

In other medical news, scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have a new needleless injection system that sends medicine right through the skin with high energy pulses. Unlike early attempts, the researchers say the latest device is painless, and causes no bruising. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.