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Israel and Cancer

 Jerusalem:

Two revolutionary new developments in cancer research have sprung up in Israel over the last month. With the world spurred in to action against cancer as a whole, Israel has jumped ahead. The need for a cure to these incurable diseases has continued to mount.

      “Israel's Health Ministry reported that some 1,634 new cases were diagnosed (with melanoma in Israel) in 2013 (roughly double the number diagnosed in 1980; the cause of the worldwide ramp-up in melanoma is debatable).” Haaretz news wrote

Melanoma breakthrough

This last week a new paper came out in Nature Cell Biology indicating that Dr. Cramit Levy and her team, in close collaboration with Prof. Jörg D. Hoheisel and Laureen Sander at the German Cancer Research Center have found a new way to treat melanoma. Melanoma is our most lethal skin cancer, and it begins to become dangerous after it spreads in its later stages.

      "We looked at samples of early melanoma, before the invasive stage," Dr. Levy said

Dr. Carmit Levy then decided to target the spread of the melanoma.

3D structure of a melanoma cell derived by ion abrasion scanning electron microscopy.

      "We found that even before the cancer itself invades the dermis, it sends out tiny vesicles containing molecules of microRNA," Dr. Levy said. "These induce the morphological changes in the dermis in preparation for receiving and transporting the cancer cells. It then became clear to us that by blocking the vesicles, we might be able to stop the disease altogether."

The team decided, with this new knowledge that all they need now are solutions for stopping the spread itself. One chemical they found is (SB202190). This chemical inhibits the delivery of the vesicles to the dermis, while the other (U0126) stops changes the dermis undergoes after the arrival of the microRNA. These two chemicals in conjunction might just change melanoma into a very treatable disease.


Genetic Manipulations

A new startup by the name of Boomerang has recently emerged; their aim is to isolate the difference between normal cells and cancer cells. They will use this genetic difference to target cancer cells and create treatments to destroy only them. This new startup has found two promoters that present themselves almost exclusively in cancer cells. These promoters will allow three different proteins to attach themselves to a cancerous cell.

1. A protein that will make it easy to distinguish between cancerous cells and normal ones

2. A protein that will kill a cancer cell

3. A Protein that will come out in the urine or blood tests for easy diagnosis


If this new startup succeeds, every cell with these promoters will be detected.

These two methods are a huge advancement in a wave that has washed all over the world, breakthroughs are appearing left and right, so let’s all cross our fingers. We can only hope that this wave of advancements in one of the worst and most complicated diseases will only end when the disease is treated.

 

Omer Shenhar

 

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