An alternative to standard gene-therapy approaches to cancer treatment is the use of various viruses with lytic effects on human cancer cells. In June 15 Blood, Deanna Grote and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic Rochester, Minnesota, show that live attenuated measles virus can induce regression of human B-cell lymphoma xenografts in severe combined immunodeficient mice.

Grote et al investigated the cytoreductive potential of MV-Ed (a derivative of the Edmonston-B strain of measles virus) in murine models of aggressive and indolent B-cell lymphoma. Both intratumoural and intravenous injection of MV-Ed induced regression of large established human lymphoma xenografts after 15 to 25 days, in contrast to control therapy with UV-inactivated virus, in which all tumours progressed. Analysis of residual tumour confirmed replication of MV within the malignant cells (Blood 2001, 97:3746-3754).

In addition, they showed that MV increased tumour expression of heat shock protein and speculate that...

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