Thursday , February 25 2021

Israeli scientists claim to have found a cure for cancer "can not afford" to publish results yet

Foreign cancer experts are discussing claims by a team of Israeli researchers who say they have developed a concept that will pave the way for a cure for cancer, with a United States expert dismissing him as "another on a long list of fake, irresponsible, and ultimately vicious false promises to cancer patients"

The CEO of the company behind the investigation said The Times of Israel on Tuesday that He did not publish his research in medical journals, as is the norm, because he "can not" do it, but that the results of their research (clinical trials) were "very good". Several Israeli specialists contacted by The Times of Israel they refused to comment on the allegation, some precisely because they were unfamiliar with the investigation.

"We are working on a complete cure for cancer"He said Ilan Morad, president and founder of startup Accelerated Evolution of Biotechnologies Ltd. (AEBi) based on Nes Ziona, in an interview with The Times of Israel on Tuesday. "We still have a long way to go, but in the end we believe we will have a cure for all types of cancer patients and with very few side effects."

Morad added that "in a year or so," the company could begin treating patients as part of the clinical trials it hopes to initiate if it raises funds. The family of molecules he developed, which is at the center of his apparent path to attention, has been tested in pre-clinical tests of human cancer cells in the laboratory and in mice, Morad said, and found effective way to attack ordinary people with cancers such as lung cancer, colon cancer, and head and neck cancer.

Illustrative picture of a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy (
Illustrative picture of a cancer patient receiving chemotherapy (

Several hospitals and experts in Israel declined to comment on the allegationsand some pointed out that they had no direct information on the investigation. Other experts abroad have made severe warnings about the researchers' claims.

O Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy medical director of the national office of the American Cancer Society, said on Tuesday that while Israeli scientists had worked "with an interesting approach to interfere with the ability of cancer cells to function," their research "apparently, was not published in the scientific literature where it would be subject to review, support and / or criticism of informed peers"

"We all hope that the cure for cancer can be found and developed quickly," he wrote in a post titled "The cure for cancer – not so fast."

"However, as experience has taught us so many times, the gap between a successful mouse experiment and an effective and beneficial application of the exciting lab concepts to help bedside cancer patients is, in fact, a long journey and treacherous, full of obstacles and unforeseen. "

"It is likely to take some time to demonstrate the benefit of this new approach to cancer treatment. And, unfortunately, based on other similar claims of innovative technologies for cancer treatment, chances are that it will not be successful. "

Lichtenfeld added: "We hope that this approach will pay off as well as be successful. At the same time, we should always offer a caution that the process for getting this mouse treatment for man is not always a smooth and trouble-free journey."

Dr. Ben Neel, director of the Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, he told the New York Post what "cancer is a multiple disease, and it is very unlikely that this company has found a & cure; for cancer"

He said that "most likely this statement is another in a long line of false promises, irresponsible and ultimately cruel to cancer patients."

Publish or … investigate?

Morad said the AEBi team chooses to use its limited resources to do more research instead of publishing their research in medical journals.

The company wants to focus on "advance research and develop more target peptides. It takes a lot of work and we are a small company, "he said. The Times of Israel. "We can not afford it. Publishing an article takes a lot of effort and a lot of money, and we can not afford it."

He added: "If we were a big company with lots of resources, that would be the first thing we would do. If I have $ 100,000, what do I spend? "He asked. "Advancing in research and finding more and more targeted peptides, or doing lots of experiments to write an article? What would you do if you had to choose?

In the conventional developmental process, medical researchers who make a discovery gather their material and send a paper about it to legitimate medical journals in the hope that the journal's editorial committees will validate their findings and publish the finding. The greater the prestige of the publication, the greater the apparent value of the discovery. Researchers do not need to pay legitimate medical journals to publish their findings.

An "octopus" armed with peptides

The remedy that the company hopes to develop "will be a personalized medicine that will adapt to the specific cancers of each patient"Morad said." Each person will receive the specific cancer remedy. "

The treatment, which the company calls Muto (Multi-Target Toxin), is a family of molecules armed with peptides that have the ability to interact with a wide variety of proteins expressed by cancer cells. Instead of just targeting one type of protein, the molecules have the ability to attack multiple proteins at the same time, Morad said. "We have created a multiple attack against cancer"He said.

"Think of the arms of an octopus," he elaborated. "The octopus in this case is the molecule, and at the end of each arm there are peptides that interact with proteins and inhibit their action." This interaction allows the "toxic peptides" attached to many octopus arms to penetrate the cancer cell and destroy it from within.

The results of the preclinical tests, Morad said, were "very good", demonstrating that molecules have the ability to kill cancer cells, targeting only them and not other healthy cells. "The effect is specific to cancer cells, leaving aside other non-cancerous cells, so the side effects will be much smaller. You will have side effects at the level of ibuprofen or regular aspirin. "

The company is now in the process of patenting the concept, he said. Funding to date has come from private investors.

Morad founded AEBi in 2000, having previously worked as a researcher Peptor Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Rehovot that in 2003 obtained the green light for a merger with the German biopharmaceutical company DeveloGen. Other team members include Dan Aridor, the chairman of the board, who specializes in finance at Columbia Business School, according to the company's website.

The third member mentioned on the site is Hanan Itzhaki, the company's chief operating officer. Itzhaki has been with the company since 2002, having worked InSight Pharmaceutical Ltd., based in Rehovot. He has held a postdoctoral position in the horticulture department of Purdue University in Indiana and holds a PhD from the College of Agriculture of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Morad said the team now plans to advance its research and reach clinical trials as soon as possible.

The US Food and Drug Administration establishes procedures for the development and processing of drugs as follows: "Before a drug can be tested on persons, the pharmaceutical company or sponsor performs laboratory and animal tests to find out how the medication works and whether it is likely to work. Be safe and work well for human beings. Then a series of tests on people determine whether the medication is safe when used to treat a disease and whether it offers a real health benefit. "

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