WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- A modified form of the
measles virus could become a treatment for a kind of brain tumor in
children, researchers report.
The tumor, known as medulloblastoma, occurs in about 20 percent
of childhood brain cancer cases. Treatment, which can include
surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, has increased the survival
rate at five years to 70 percent, but the tumors remain deadly in
"There is still an urgent need to investigate alternative therapeutic approaches that are more effective and have less toxic side effects," said study lead author Dr. Corey Raffel, chief of neurosurgery at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Researchers have previously used strains of measles virus to
kill different types of tumor cells.
In this study, researchers found that a modified form of the
measles virus killed brain tumor cells in the laboratory. The
approach seemed to also work in mice with tumors similar to
medulloblastomas in humans.
More research is needed before the treatment will be ready for
testing in people.
The findings were published online May 21 in the journal
For more about
childhood brain tumors, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.