Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have discovered that a genetically altered form of the measles virus is effective in treating several cancers. The goal of this trial is to test the drug in mesothelioma.

Virotherapy for Mesothelioma

This Phase I trial uses a genetically modified form of the measles virus to kill mesothelioma. This type of treatment is part of an emerging field known as oncolytic virotherapy. The future of virotherapy for mesothelioma patients has potential thanks to research like this.

What You Need to Know

  • MV-NIS Defined
    Biological Measles Compound MV-NIS – The measles virus targets and kills cancerous cells. This compound was genetically modified so the patient’s immune system won’t attack it. MV-NIS has recently proven to be an effective treatment for patients with multiple myeloma in 2014.
  • All Stages
    All Stages of Mesothelioma – This study is accepting patients at any stage of pleural mesothelioma. This provides an additional treatment option for late stage patients with restricted choices. Early stage patients who have already had traditional treatments may enroll in this trial to increase their chances of survival.

Get Help Enrolling in This Trial

Get Help Enrolling in This Trial - Form Image
Many patients overlook clinical trials as a viable treatment option. Taking advantage of clinical trials is something all mesothelioma patients should consider. There are many lacking areas of mesothelioma treatment that clinical trials could potentially improve.

Some reasons to participate in this study include:
  • Get attentive care and treatment from a state-of-the-art cancer center
  • Early stage patients may prevent their disease from spreading
  • Late stage patients have another treatment option available

Why Measles?

The idea to use the measles virus originated when a Ugandan boy with cancer was diagnosed with the virus in the 1970s. This boy had an illness that is common amongst African children but is very rare on other continents. He had Burkitt’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

The young boy had developed a tumor on his eye as a result of his cancer. However, something curious happened that caused the tumor to shrink and disappear: the boy came down with the measles.

Doctors determined that it was indeed the measles virus that was attacking the cancerous cells in his body and the news quickly spread throughout the medical community.

Due to a lack of technology at the time, nothing could be done to develop a drug out of the measles virus until researchers at the Mayo Clinic started testing in the lab in 1998. After seven years, they began testing the drug in patients with ovarian cancer and have conducted tests in other cancers ever since.

What to Expect in This Trial

This trial utilizes a field of cancer treatment known as oncolytic virotherapy. Simply stated, this uses viruses to kill cancerous cells. Virotherapy emerged as technology advanced and as doctors looked for new ways to treat cancer.

This study is only in Phase I, so the goal is to test how well participants tolerate MV-NIS. This drug has shown to be effective in multiple myeloma and also has potential in other diseases like glioblastoma and ovarian cancer.

Participants in this study receive the drug every 28 days up to six rounds. All participants are fitted with an intrapleural catheter if they do not already have one. An intrapleural catheter is a port in the chest wall used to deliver the drug directly to the area where the tumor is located.

Participants are also monitored via CT scans to track their progress. As long as the patient tolerates the drug well, and their disease doesn’t spread, they will be treated are six rounds of therapy.

Maintenance Therapy for Early Stage Patients?

The benefit of clinical trials for late stage patients is usually obvious: it offers a chance for a longer life by expanding their treatment options when there are so few left. The benefit of a trial like this may not be as obvious to early stage patients, however.

The main goal is that this could potentially lead to an effective maintenance therapy, a treatment that prevents mesothelioma from spreading. Early stage patients are typically eligible for aggressive treatments that diminish most of their disease. Unfortunately, mesothelioma relapses quickly because it is so aggressive. An effective maintenance therapy could prevent this. Patients interested in doing everything it takes to prolong their life should always take clinical trials like these into account.

Who Is This Trial For?

This clinical trial is for most patients with pleural mesothelioma. For early stage patients, it adds an extra line of defense to their current treatment. For late stage patients, this trial provides a potentially life-extending treatment when options are limited. There are many detailed exclusionary criteria involved in this trial, but any patients looking for additional treatment should take this trial into account.

General eligibility criteria includes:

  • Stages I-IV are eligible
  • Prognosis greater than 3 months
  • Haven’t received treatment in past month
  • Free of infection
  • No history of reaction to measles vaccine


This clinical trial is being conducted exclusively at the Mayo Clinic. Patients who don’t live in the Midwest should consider the amount of travel this trial may involve. Participants are required to do frequent checkups, so the patient’s location may be more of a burden as frequent travel can have a negative impact on health.

  • Mayo Clinic

    Mayo Clinic

    Principal Investigator: Dr. Tobias Peikert
    The Mayo Clinic is one of the most familiar names among cancer centers, and innovative treatments like this clinical trial are why. The cancer center has already engineered the measles virus to treat many other diseases, including ovarian and prostate cancer. Dr. Peikert is the only specialist leading a clinical trial of this drug for mesothelioma patients.

Is This Trial For You?

The Mayo Clinic is one of the most renowned cancer centers in the world. One of the greatest benefits of joining this particular clinical trial is the care and attention patients at this center receive. Getting treated by doctors with such an attention to detail assures the patient is getting the best care. If you’re interested in learning more about how this trial can benefit you, we can help. Get connected to this clinical trial today.