Israeli Scientists Claim to Have Found a Cure for Cancer
A small team of Israeli scientists thinks they have finally cracked the code and found the first complete cure for cancer.
“We believe we will offer in a year's time a complete cure for cancer,” said Dan Aridor, owner of Accelerated Evolution Biotechnologies Ltd, founded in 2000 in the ITEK incubator in the Weizmann Science Park.
Related - Two Out of Five Cancer Cases Avoidable
Aridor goes on to say “Our cancer cure will be effective from day one, will last a duration of a few weeks and will have no or minimal side-effects at a much lower cost than most other treatments on the market. Our solution will be both generic and personal.”
This is a pretty huge claim.
Alarming Cancer Stats
Getting cancer as your diagnosis has to be the scariest thing ever. Here are a few alarming facts about cancer.
In 2018 alone, an estimated 1,735,350 new cancer cases were diagnosed in the United States. 609,640 people will die from this disease.
Here are the most common cancers listed in order:
- Lung and Bronchus
- Colon and Rectum
- Melanoma of the Skin
- Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Kidney and Renal Pelvis
Cancer mortality is higher among men than women. When comparing groups based on race and sex, cancer mortality is highest in African American men. The lowest are Asian/Pacific Islander women.
Going off of 2013-2015 data, around 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
In 2017, an estimated 15,270 children and adolescents aged anywhere from 0 to 19 were diagnosed with cancer. 1,790 died from the disease.
Estimated costs for cancer care in 2017 were around $147.3 billion. Costs are likely to increase as the population ages and cancer prevalence increases.
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This is great, right? With so many new cancer cases being diagnosed worldwide each year, this could be a huge game changer.
Airodor is a chairman of the board of AEBi and CEO Dr. Ilan Morad say their treatment, called MuTaTo (multi-target toxin) is in essence on the scale of a cancer antibiotic.
This is a disruption technology of the most critical order.
This anti-cancer drug is based on SoAP technology. It involves the introduction of DNA coding for a protein, like an antibody, into a bacteriophage — a virus that infects bacteria. Scientists can actually screen for interactions with other proteins, DNA sequence, and small molecules.
In 2018, a team of scientists won the Nobel Prize for the work they did in phage display in the directed evolution of new proteins — in particular, the production of antibody therapeutics. AEBi is doing something similar with peptides; compounds of two or more amino acids linked in a chain.
Morad claims peptides have several advantages over antibodies. This takes into account they are smaller, cheaper, and easier to produce and regulate. “We were doing what everyone else was doing, trying to discover individual novel peptides for specific cancers,” says Morad.
Morad and his colleague Dr. Hanan Itzhaki decided to go big or go home. The first order of business was to identify why other cancer-killing drugs and treatments don’t work or fail. This is the way they found a way to counter that effect.
They essentially looked at the problem and reverse engineered it.
Most anti-cancer drugs only attack a specific target on or in a cancer cell. Inhibiting the target usually affects a physiological pathway that promotes cancer. The mutations in the targets — or a downstream in their physiological pathway — could make the targets not relevant to the cancer nature of the cell.
This is why the drug attacking it is rendered ineffective.
Why MuTaTo is Different
MuTaTo is using a combination of several cancer-targeting peptides for each cancer cell at the same time. When combined with a strong peptide toxin that would kill cancer cells specifically, this is a great combo.
Using at least three targeting peptides on the same structure with a strong toxin would make sure the treatment will not be affected by mutations. Cancer cells can mutate in such a way that the targeted receptors are dropped by the cancer.
Morad explains how some cancer tumors put up a shield that creates an access problem to larger molecules like antibodies. “MuTaTo is more like an octopus or a piece of spaghetti — sneaking into places where larger molecules simply cannot reach. The peptide parts of a MuTaTo are very small — 12 amino acids long — and lack a rigid structure,” said Morad.
He goes on to say “this should make the whole molecule non-immunogenic in most cases and would enable repeated administration of the drug.”
This discovery could help reduce the sickening side-effects of most cancer treatments. If you’ve never been around someone on cancer treatments, it’s rough.
MuTaTo’s combination of several highly specific cancer-targeting peptides for each type of cancer cell would increase the specificity of the cancer cell due to the avidity effect. In most cases, non-cancer cells have a protein in common with the cancer cells but do not express it.
Morad equates the concept of MuTaTo to a triple-drug cocktail that helped change AIDS from being an automatic death sentence to a chronic, but manageable, disease. Today’s AIDS patients take protease inhibitors along with two other drugs called reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
This drug combination disrupts HIV at different stages in its replication, which restrains an enzyme that is crucial to an early stage of HIV duplication. This also holds back another enzyme that functions near the end of the HIV replication process.
AIDS patients used to get several drugs, but they would be administered one a time. “During the course of treatment, the virus mutated, and the AIDS started attacking again. Only when patients started using a cocktail, were they able to stop the disease,” explains Morad.
Now people with AIDS are HIV carriers, but they are not sick anymore.
Eventually, the MuTaTo cancer treatment will be personalized. Each patient will provide a piece of a biopsy to the lab, which would be analyzed to know which receptors are being overexpressed. The individual would be administered exactly the molecule cocktail needed to cure the disease.
I wonder if it would taste like rum and cola?
While AIDS patients need to take their drugs for the rest of their lives, MuTaTo would kill the cells and patients could likely stop this treatment after a few short weeks.
The company is now writing patents on specific peptides. This will be a large bank of targeting toxin peptides. Morad goes on to say “so far, the company has concluded its first exploratory mice experiment, which inhibited human cancer cell growth and had no effect at all on healthy mice cells, in addition to several in-vitro trials. AEBi is on the cusp of beginning a round of clinical trials which could be completed within a few years and would make the treatment available in specific cases.”
Aridor added: “Our results are consistent and repeatable.”
Here’s to hoping they have cracked the code — I’m over losing friends and family to cancer.